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Search at Sea Fails to Find Missing Carrier Crewman

December 13, 1985|GLENN F. BUNTING | Times Staff Writer

An extensive search 80 miles off the San Diego coast Thursday failed to turn up a missing crewman from the aircraft carrier Ranger.

The sailor, believed to be in his late teens or early 20s, was last seen at 4 a.m. His name is being withheld pending notification of relatives, who live outside the San Diego area.

Based on remarks the sailor reportedly made to shipmates before his disappearance, officers said they believe he may have jumped off the ship in an attempt to commit suicide.

The carrier was searched when the sailor failed to report for duty at his supply department work station at 8:20 a.m., said Cmdr. Tom Jurkowsky, a spokesman for the Navy. Once everyone on the carrier was accounted for except the missing man, aircraft and ships searched the Ranger's wake off San Clemente Island.

Aircraft from the Ranger and three escort ships--the cruiser Long Beach and frigates Crommelin and Ramsey--searched for the missing sailor all day Thursday and into the night. The Navy will investigate the disappearance, Jurkowsky said.

In June, the 27-year-old Ranger returned to its home port in San Diego after a $240-million, 13-month overhaul at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Wash. For the last week the Ranger has been conducting routine training operations off the Southern California coast.

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