21-Year-Old Navy SEAL Trainee Dies During Pool Exercise

US Navy(CORONADO, Calif.) — The 21-year-old Navy SEAL trainee who died last week during an introductory pool training exercise in Coronado, California, would have had to display advanced physical strength before reaching that stage in his training.

Seaman James Derek Lovelace was in his first week of training when he was pulled out of a swimming pool Friday during underwater demolition training after he showed signs of having difficulty, the Navy said in a statement Wednesday. He was wearing a camouflage utility uniform and a dive mask during the training exercise.

Instructors said he then lost consciousness and that resuscitation and first aid efforts at the scene were unsuccessful, the Navy said. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Lovelace enlisted in the Navy in November after studying mechanical engineering at the Faulkner State Community College in Minette, Alabama, according to his Naval biography. He graduated from Naval Boot Camp in Great Lakes, Illinois, in January and was stationed at the Naval Special Warfare Basic Training Command in Coronado in April.

In order to pass the boot camp level, Lovelace would have had to perform the following tasks, according to the Navy's website:

  • A 1,000-yard swim with fins in 20 minutes or under
  • At least 70 push-ups in two minutes
  • At least 10 pull-ups in two minutes
  • At least 60 curl-ups in two minutes
  • A 4-mile run within 31 minutes while wearing uniform shoes and pants

Candidates are put through some of the "most mentally challenging and physically demanding training in the world" before becoming Navy SEALs, according to the website.

"Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training, or BUD/S, is designed to find and develop men of the strongest character who give everything they have to accomplish their mission and support the men on their team," the site reads.

Lovelace was in the second stage of training, dubbed Naval Special Warfare Orientation, which serves as an introduction to BUD/S, when he died, according to the Navy.

"Candidates must show humility and integrity as instructors begin the process of selecting the candidates that demonstrate the proper character and passion for excellence," a description for the orientation reads.

Prospective Navy SEALs then transition to their first days of basic underwater demolition -- the exercise Lovelace was participating in when he experienced difficulty in the pool.

Navy officials said they are investigating the exact cause of Lovelace's death, which is unknown at this time.

The underwater demolition exercise is designed to assess students' competency, confidence and safety in the water, according to the Navy.

Lovelace was born in Germany and grew up in Crestview, Florida, according to his Naval biography. He is survived by his father and two sisters.

During his time with the Navy, Lovelace earned the National Defense Ribbon and the Sharpshooter Pistol Qualification.

“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. “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's death comes days after Coronado-based Navy SEAL Charles Keating IV was shot and killed during a battle with ISIS in Iraq. Keating was the grandson of financier Charles Keating.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Labrador retriever flunks out of bomb-sniffing school for not wanting to detect bombs

Labrador retriever flunks out of bomb-sniffing school for not wanting to detect bombsRuskpp/iStock/Thinkstock(MCLEAN, Va.) -- A Labrador retriever named Lulu has flunked out of bomb-sniffing school after she displayed to her handlers that she was no longer interested in detecting bombs, according to the CIA.

"We are sad to announce that Lulu has been dropped from the program," the CIA announced in a press release Wednesday.

Lulu did not make the cut to graduate with her fellow fall 2017 puppy classmates after she began to show signs that she wasn't interested in sniffing out explosive odors a few weeks into training.

We’re sad to announce that a few weeks into training, Lulu began to show signs that she wasn’t interested in detecting explosive odors. pic.twitter.com/c6lxHPfC09

— CIA (@CIA) October 18, 2017

There are a million reasons why a dog has a bad day & our trainers must become doggy psychologists to figure out what will help pups. pic.twitter.com/iaeRpGiSUR

— CIA (@CIA) October 18, 2017


Pups often have off days when they're training for such an important job, the CIA said. The issue -- which can often be fixed with more playtime and breaks -- is often temporary.

"After a few days, the trainers work the pup through whatever issue has arisen, and the dog is back eagerly and happily ready to continue training," the CIA said. "But for some dogs, like Lulu, it becomes clear that the issue isn’t temporary."

Lulu wasn’t interested in searching for explosives.
Even when motivated w food & play, she was clearly no longer enjoying herself. pic.twitter.com/puvhDk1tRX

— CIA (@CIA) October 18, 2017


Lulu was no longer motivated to search for explosives and was "clearly not enjoying herself any longer" when motivated to do so with food and play.

"It's imperative that the dogs enjoy the job they’re doing," the CIA said.

Trainers made the "extremely difficult decision" to drop Lulu from the program for her physical and mental well-being, the CIA said.

Lulu's handler adopted her, so she now enjoys cushy work-free days that include playing with his children and sniffing out rabbits and squirrels in the backyard. She even has a new friend -- a fellow Labrador retriever -- to hang out with all day.

Lulu was adopted by her handler & now enjoys her days playing w his kids & a new friend, & sniffing out rabbits & squirrels in the backyard. pic.twitter.com/WOImM75P1D

— CIA (@CIA) October 18, 2017


"We’ll miss Lulu, but this was the right decision for her," the CIA said. "We wish her all the best in her new life."

We’ll miss Lulu, but it was right decision for her & we wish her all the best in her new life!https://t.co/nPZl6YWNKb pic.twitter.com/Mbcr9C7wUY

— CIA (@CIA) October 18, 2017

Lulu's handler is still on the search for an explosive detection K-9 partner, the CIA said.

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