A sailor stationed aboard the USS George Washington killed himself Monday according to police — the latest in a series of at least 14 suicides in the last two years reported among personnel serving aboard the docked aircraft carrier.
The latest victim — who hasn’t been named since the family has yet to be notified — died at a private residence in Newport News, Virginia, according to Military.com.
A police spokesperson told the outlet that the death is considered a suicide.
The sailor was stationed on the USS George Washington which is currently undergoing a yearslong refit that began in 2017. It’s the same ship where three sailors died by suicide within a week of each other in April, according to CNN, and that Military.com reported had witnessed 10 suicides in a 10-month period last spring.
Two other Navy suicides — these two on the West Coast — have been reported since early December.
Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class Jacob Slocum and Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Christopher Carroll killed themselves on Dec. 5 and Jan. 18, respectively, while working on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, another aircraft carrier that’s docked at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Washington state.
The conditions aboard the George Washington became a focus following an investigation into the sailors’ deaths last April.
Crew members endured frequent outages to their ventilation, power and running water, as well as constant construction noise and debris on the ship. Many sailors either began sleeping in their cars or renting homes off-site to escape the commotion, despite not having a housing allowance.
Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut’s two Democratic U.S. senators, called the conditions aboard the George Washington “simply not habitable” in a letter sent to Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro earlier this month.
They also criticized the Navy for being obtuse about their crew’s mental health needs.
Suicides are a growing problem for the military.
According to Military.com, 384 service members killed themselves in 2020, which was a 44% increase from 2015. A total of 4,842 armed services members have died by suicide since 2014.