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U.S. Navy Rescue Swimmer Dies in Training Accident in Florida

Rescue swimmer Peter "Pete" Lagosh on deployment with USNS Comfort, 2019 (U.S. Navy)
Rescue swimmer Peter "Pete" Lagosh on a deployment with USNS Comfort, 2019 (U.S. Navy)

Published Jun 12, 2024 6:36 PM by The Maritime Executive

An experienced U.S. Navy rescue swimmer was killed in a training accident at Naval Air Station Jacksonville last week, the Navy has confirmed to local media. 

Chief Petty Officer Peter "Pete" Lagosh was killed June 4 while on a training assignment at Naval Air Station Jacksonville. According to the Navy, Lagosh was in between duty stations, making an intermediate stop before transferring to a unit in Japan, and was enrolled in the Surface Rescue Swimmer School (SRSS) refresher course at the base.

As a matter of routine, the circumstances of his death are being examined by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, a spokesperson for Naval Air Force Atlantic told local media. 

“We offer our deepest condolences and sympathies to the family, friends, and shipmates of the Sailor during this difficult time,” spokesperson Cmdr. Dawn Stankis told Action News Jax. “Grief counseling services and support are available through the appropriate chains of command and through chaplains.”

Lagosh, 40, was from Cudahy, Wisconsin. He joined the Navy in 2007 and enrolled in the Navy Rescue Swimmer program, a famously challenging training pipeline that requires exceptional endurance and physical abilities.

According to a memorial post published on GoFundMe, he served two tours with Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 28, including multiple deployments, and served as an instructor at Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 2. He volunteered to transfer to Atsugi, Japan to join HSC-12, and "passed away during a training evolution in the execution of his orders" at NAS Jacksonville. He is survived by his wife and their children. 

"Pete was a loving father and husband, who always had a smile and was ready to lend a hand to anyone that needed it," a family friend wrote in his obituary.