Two Missing Navy SEALs Declared Deceased

A dhow in the Gulf of Aden was identified January 10, 2024 for being in the process of smuggling Iranian weapons to Yemen.

The USS LEWIS B. PULLER (ESB 3) was sent to conduct a flag verification operation (including a Visit, Board, Search and Seizure), which gave positive confirmation of an illegal shipment of Iranian missiles.

Boarding ladder for VBSS. Source: U.S. DoD

A Navy SEAL reportedly was swept away by a large rogue wave while in the process of climbing a boarding ladder in the dark at 20:00 (sunset 17:50). Another SEAL, in an expected rescue procedure, pursued the first and both disappeared.

Wave height was reported as 0.9m that night (sea state 3).

Gentle Breeze – Sea surface broken with large wavelets. Wave height 0.5 to 1.25 metres (1 ft 8 in to 4 ft 1 in)

The wake of a fat dhow underway easily could affect wave height. This is the exact dhow, and the sea state, in question.


The two missing SEALs have just been officially listed as deceased by CENTCOM.

During this expansive search operation, airborne and naval platforms from the U.S., Japan, and Spain continuously searched more than 21,000 square miles to locate our missing teammates. Search assistance was also provided by Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center, the U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area Command, University of San Diego – Scripts Institute of Oceanography, and the Office of Naval Research – Oceanographic Support.

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