US Navy Ends Search for Missing Sailor IT2 McKnight

The U.S. Navy called off the search for Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Ian McKnight, assigned to USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Search and rescue efforts have been underway since Sept 6, when the Navy believes he went overboard.

After the ship was searched thoroughly, man overboard was called on Sept. 6. The Nimitz and guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton conducted the search. They were joined by aircraft from the U.S. Navy and Air Force who conducted search and rescue operations in the North Arabian Sea.

Intense search and rescue operations were not successful in locating McKnight and the rescue operation ended on Sept. 8.

McKnight is originally from North Carolina. He enlisted in the Navy in 2018 and had served aboard the the carrier since 2019, according to Navy records.  He was just promoted to E-5 in early August.

McKnight remains listed as Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown (DUSTWUN). His next of kin has been notified of his status.

“We are deeply saddened as we call off the search for IT2 Ian McKnight. We hold his family and friends in our hearts during this difficult time,” said Capt. Max Clark, Commanding Officer of USS Nimitz.

The incident does remain under investigation.

“The strike group team sends our thoughts and prayers to the family of Petty Officer McKnight. And I offer my thanks to all the Sailors and Airmen who were involved in the search for our shipmate.” said Rear Admiral Jim Kirk, commander, Carrier Strike Group 11.

The Nimitz has been operating just outside the Persian Gulf since late July. They left on part of a deployment that began on June 8 from San Diego, Calif.

To prevent the transmission of the Corona Virus onboard the carrier, the majority of the 8,000 sailors of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group and Carrier Air Wing 17 have been in an isolation period since early April.

The USS Nimitz is the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 11. They are deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations ensuring maritime stability and security in the Central Region. Their role is to connect the Mediterranean and Pacific through the Western Indian Ocean while monitoring the three critical chokepoints enhancing the free flow of global commerce.

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