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James Derek Lovelace

Naval Special Warfare Center via AP

James Derek Lovelace

James Derek Lovelace, a U.S. Navy SEAL trainee, died May 6 during a SEAL training exercise, according to NBC News. He was 21.

A Navy spokesperson said the death is now under investigation.

The incident occurred while Lovelace was doing the BUD/S training program, which is one of the most challenging military training programs. Lovelace, who was in the last day of the first week of his training, was doing a basic swimming exercise known as “drown-proofing.”

During the exercise, Navy spokesman Trevor Davids said in a statement, "students tread water and swim in a pool while wearing diving masks and a camouflage utility uniform." Davids said that "safety observers identified Lovelace as having difficulty and withdrew him from the exercise. He was aided to the edge of the pool by instructors where he then lost consciousness. Resuscitation efforts and first aid at the scene were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital."

"Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of SN Lovelace," said Capt. Jay Hennessey, commanding officer of the Naval Special Warfare Center, which oversees SEAL training. "Though Derek was very new to our community, he selflessly answered his nation's call to defend freedom and protect this country. He will be sorely missed. We share in his family's grief from this great loss."

Lovelace played baseball in high school and community college. His father, James Lovelace, is an Air Force veteran. His mother died last year; she was 44.

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