How Nigerian-born US Naval Officer, Oriola Aregbesola Died in Red Sea

The United States Navy has confirmed that Oriola Michael Aregbesola, a 34-year-old Nigerian-born Naval officer, died after falling overboard in the Red Sea.

According to US Today, Aregbesola was a Florida-based aviation machinist’s mate 2nd class who had been stationed on the USS Mason in the Red Sea since November of last year but was pronounced missing.

According to Commander Eric Kohut, the commanding officer of HSM-74, Aregbesola exemplified the US Navy sailor’s selflessness and thinking warrior spirit.

“Petty Officer Aregbesola fully embodied the selfless character and thoughtful warrior spirit of the United States Navy Sailor,” Kohut said in a statement.

“His outstanding performance prior to and during deployment went well beyond aircraft maintenance; he truly saw and valued every member of the ship/air team.”

The 34-year-old was assisting operations in the Red Sea when he fell overboard on March 20, according to US Central Command.

An inquiry has been initiated into the incident, and while more information regarding his death was not immediately available, officials stated that search and recovery operations were underway.

Aregbesola died as a result of a non-combat event, according to a statement from the Department of Defense.

Aregbesola’s death is the most recent incident involving US service troops stationed in or near the Red Sea during the Israel-Hamas conflict.

In January, two Navy SEALs went missing in the Arabian Sea during a nighttime boarding mission to take an unflagged boat transporting illegal Iranian-made weaponry to Yemen.

According to the Department of Defense, Aregbesola was stationed on the USS Mason in the US 5th Fleet area of operations as part of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group. He was from Miramar, Florida.

He was assigned to the “Swamp Foxes” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 74, according to a Navy statement. Since November, the USS Mason has been operating in the United States 5th Fleet region.

Aregbesola joined the Navy in July 2020 and was assigned to HSM-74 in December 2020, according to the Navy.

“He will continue on in the heart of every Swamp Fox and our brothers and sisters in the IKE Carrier Strike Group,” he stated. “Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with his family.”



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