Instructor will not face charges after Navy seaman drowned to death

San Diego – Seaman James Derek Lovelace died 11 months ago during a basic underwater demolition or SEAL training better known as BUD/S. Lovelace went through a pool exercise on Coronado after being dumped twice by an instructor while struggling to tread water in full gear.

The autopsy results from the San Diego County Medical Examiner ruled his death a homicide.

Medical examiners also indicated that Lovelace had an enlarged heart and abnormal coronary artery. They believe his heart contributed to his death but are unsure of how much.

All sailors who desire to become SEAL candidates have to able to pass a test that includes 500 yards in 12 1/2 minutes, doing 50 push ups in two minutes and completing 50 curl-ups in two minutes.

The Navy did not elaborate on the details of the investigation, but emphasized that SEAL training must be as close to real warfare as possible.

 “To honor those who have fallen in combat we must provide the most realistic and operationally relevant training possible,” said Capt. Jay Hennessey, commander of the Naval Special Warfare Training Center, in a statement. “To honor those who have fallen in training we must effectively mitigate the risks of that training.”
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