Rescue Swimmer School Claims Another

| April 16, 2021 | 12 Comments

A 30-year-old sailor died Tuesday, more than a week after he became unresponsive while training to become a helicopter rescue swimmer on board Naval Air Station Pensacola.

Airman Nathan Burke of Lubbock, Texas, died at Baptist Hospital in Pensacola, Florida, Navy officials announced. He’d been attending Aviation Rescue Swimmer School and was training in a pool in early April when he became unresponsive.

Sailor dies after rescue swimming mishap in training

Diana Stancy Correll

A Navy sailor who suffered a training exercise mishap at Aviation Rescue Swimmer School in Pensacola, Florida, died Tuesday.

Airman Nathan Burke became unresponsive April 5 as he was completing a training evolution in the pool at Naval Air Station Pensacola, according to the Navy. He was taken to Baptist Hospital.

“Paramedics responded and achieved a spontaneous return of circulation and pulse. He was transported to the hospital and was placed on life-support,” the Navy said in a news release Wednesday. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with the family, shipmates and friends of Airman Burke during this extremely difficult time.”

He was reportedly involved in “a high-risk training evolution” in the pool which does little to narrow down the cause. If memory serves all the pool evolutions could be considered high risk to some extent. Deepest condolences to family and friends- fair winds and following seas, Airman Burke.

Navy Times

Category: Navy, Search and Rescue, Training Incidents

Comments (12)

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  1. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    Another Warrior taken too soon…

  2. Sparks says:

    Rest in peace Airman Burke. God be with your family now.

    Training can be as deadly as what you train for.

  3. Hondo says:

    RIP, Airman Burke. My sentiments are the same as those expressed by Sparks and KoB above.

  4. Fyrfighter says:

    RIP Airman Burke. I echo those above.

  5. MustangCryppie says:

    Rest in peace, shipmate.

  6. Doc Savage says:

    RIP Airman Burke, my heartfelt thanks to your family for your daring sacrifice and your service.

  7. NHSparky says:

    Prayers for the family and the fallen.

    Never forget training for battle can sometimes be just as dangerous as the battle itself.

  8. TDG says:

    I live as close as a non-student can to the pool and the Rescue Swimmer School. Those cats are in great shape, all striving to join a very select group of people.

    Airman Burke was in good company. Even though he left us much too early, he’s in even better company now, waiting (I hope?) for the rest of us.

  9. Graybeard says:

    Prayers for Airman Burke’s families – biological and military.

    It doesn’t stop the pain, but I find comfort in the fact that men like Airman Burke die trying to be one who saves others’ lives. The very nature of that effort is that it also endangers the rescuers. Courage is not optional.

  10. Ex Coelis says:

    I can only add my deepest condolences to the Burke family. RIP Airman Burke.

  11. tom reynolds says:

    Did lowering qualifications have anything to do with this? Dangerous work. Condolences to the family ,RIP

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