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Navy: North Carolina sailor dead after falling overboard

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The U.S. Navy says that a North Carolina native assigned to a guided missile destroyer was lost overboard and presumed dead in the Baltic Sea.

Seaman Recruit David L. Spearman went overboard Monday from the USS Arleigh Burke, according to a news release. A search effort near Helsinki, Finland, was called off earlier in the week.

The Navy said that he had reported to the ship in April after training in Illinois.

“This bright, young man made an oversized, positive impact on Arleigh Burke. My entire crew’s thoughts and prayers are with Seaman Recruit Spearman’s family and friends. We offer our most sincere condolences for their loss,” said Cmdr. Pete Flynn, the ship’s commanding officer.

WLOS-TV reports that Spearman was a 19-year-old from Etowah in western North Carolina’s Henderson County.

The family told the TV station that several generations of his family had served in the Navy.

The Navy didn’t release further details about what happened.

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