An American Navy sailor who was presumed missing at sea was found later hiding in the ship’s engine room the whole time the search was going on, causing the military to waste its time and resources.
The sailor was charged last week with dereliction of duty.
The sailor identified as Petty Officer 3rd Class, Peter Mims, admitted last week he intentionally avoided search teams that were looking for him, 7th Fleet spokesman Lt. Paul Newell told Fox News.
Military officials spent 50 hours searching for the young man in a wide area that covered 5,500 square miles. The search was canceled three days later, but even so, the crew did not give up easily and continued looking for him on the vessel itself.
The 23-year-old working on the USS Shiloh was reported missing on June 8, when the ship was near Okinawa, Japan.
The report sparked a wide ocean search and he was believed to have gone overboard and drowned FOX news reported.
The ship’s crew members were planning a memorial service for Mims when they found him in the engine room on June 15.
Mims was placed in a pretrial confinement facility but was released a week later, before being assigned to the Naval Surface Force, Pacific Fleet in California. His duties are unclear at this stage but he will be assigned to that post until the case is closed.
Mims faced an admiral’s mast on July 13, (a traditional navy hearing) according to the Navy Times. He was charged with abandoning watch and dereliction of duty.
The sailor could end up being discharged, but military officials have not yet revealed what they plan to do.
“We are not disclosing any of the punitive actions taken against him,” Newell told FOX news. “However, I can say that Mims is facing possible further administrative action.”
Mims joined the Navy in February 2014 and had served on board the Shiloh since August 2014.