Two missing US Navy Seals declared dead as search mission ends

Commandos had fallen into the sea during the boarding of a dhow carrying Iranian weapons

Centcom says this was the dhow that carried the Iranian-made missile parts bound for Yemen's Houthi rebels. US Centcom via AP
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The US military's Central Command on Sunday said that two Navy Seals who had been missing for 10 days have been declared dead after a search to find them failed.

The two commandos were reported missing on January 11 off the coast of Somalia after boarding a dhow that was carrying Iranian weapons, Centcom said.

“We regret to announce that after a 10-day exhaustive search, our two missing US Navy Seals have not been located and their status has been changed to deceased,” Centcom said on X.

“We are now conducting recovery operations.”

Centcom commander Gen Michael Erik Kurilla said: “We mourn the loss of our two naval special warfare warriors and we will forever honour their sacrifice and example.”

The Seals were on the USS Lewis B Puller, a Navy expeditionary sea base vessel, and travelled in small special operations combat craft driven by naval special warfare crew to get to the illicit dhow, AP reported.

As they were boarding it in rough seas, one was knocked off by high waves and a teammate went in after him.

Officials told AP that the raid was on an unflagged ship carrying illicit, Iranian-made weapons to the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Updated: January 22, 2024, 4:51 AM