Five sailors with the Naval Special Warfare Command were injured overnight on Friday after their boat crashed into a jetty.
The incident happened in San Diego Bay just before 2 a.m. on Friday, June 16 at the mouth of the San Diego Bay near Naval Air Station North Island. 10 sailors assigned to a Naval Special Warfare Unit were onboard an 11-foot-long inflatable boat, taking part in a routine training operation. The boat struck the Zuniga Point Jetty, a 220-foot long barrier in the bay that can be partially underwater given the tide.
One of the five sailors injured is a Navy SEAL; the others were combat support personnel, per U.S. Naval Institute News. It’s not clear what caused the boat to collide with the jetty. The unit has also not been identified.
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The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department was called to respond to the collision. The five injured sailors were taken to a hospital and are in stable condition. Three have since been released. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that two sailors were more seriously injured.
“An investigation into the mishap is underway,” Naval Special Warfare Command spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Chelsea Irish told U.S. Naval Institute News.
The Naval Special Warfare Command is based at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado and members regularly train in the waters around San Diego. The base is home to many of the Navy’s SEAL teams, and is where potential SEALs train. The Navy recently reviewed the selection course, following the death of sailor Kyle Mullen in February 2022. The safety report found several problems and shortcomings with NSWC’s course that contributed to Mullen’s death, including not enough medics present and poor communication.
The Navy has had multiple training exercises and operations go wrong in the last four years, resulting in injuries and fatalities. A member of SEAL Team 8 died during training in Virginia Beach, while a sailor was among nine killed (the others being Marines) when an amphibious assault vehicle sank in 2020.
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