NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A missing Navy sailor from the Lowcountry whose crewmembers feared had fallen overboard was located after a week of searching, Navy officials have confirmed.
Officer Peter Mims disappeared on June 8 while serving aboard the U.S.S. Shiloh in the South China Sea, according to the U.S. 7th Fleet. Navy officials say Mims was found aboard the ship on Thursday.
"We are thankful to have found our missing shipmate and appreciate all the hard work of our Sailors and Japanese partners in searching for him," Rear Adm. Charles Williams, commander, Carrier Strike Group 5 and Task Force 70, said.
Mims was being transferred to the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan for a medical evaluation and a recommendation for follow-up care, Navy officials said.
Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and Japan Coast Guard crews spent more than 50 hours in a comprehensive search that covered roughly 5,500 square miles of the Philippine Sea. The ocean search was suspended on midnight June 11, but the crew of the Shiloh continued their search on board the vessel, Navy officials said. Mims was found aboard the ship Thursday, according to reports.
"I am relieved that this Sailor's family will not be joining the ranks of Gold Star Families that have sacrificed so much for our country," Williams said.
Mims' Naval biography lists his home state as Florida, but he grew up in the North Charleston area, a family friend said.
Mims' family issued the following statement upon learning he has been located:
His mother and family wish to express their thanks for all the prayers. They are in shock and disbelief at this time. Their main focus is on Peter and him being alive.
The circumstances surrounding Mims' disappearance are under investigation.