At least five sailors aboard the USS Nimitz were sickened after military jet fuel contaminated the aircraft carrier’s water supply, the Navy said Friday.
The Navy has not confirmed whether the illnesses are directly related to the tainted drinking water. But Cmdr. Sean Robertson, a spokesperson for the U.S. Third Fleet, said the sailors reported “health concerns” that “could be associated” with ingesting the type of jet propellant that leaked into the carrier’s potable water system weeks ago.
The US Navy said it found only "traces" of jet fuel in the water on the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.
But a sailor told Insider that they were exposed to an "unhealthy amount" of fuel and shared a photo as evidence.
They also said they didn't immediately receive medical attention, despite health concerns.
After months of anecdotes and reports of sailors suffering through delayed separation paperwork, the admiral who oversees the entire operation is shedding light on what went wrong, where he hopes to go and sharing a message with those affected by the problem.
Rear Adm. Stuart Satterwhite is the commander of MyNavy Career Center. It's a job he took on last year, and the title belies some of the responsibility placed on the one-star flag officer. The command, known more commonly as MNCC, oversees many of the transactions that are crucial to sailors’ lives -- fixing pay issues, tracking leave balances, issuing orders and also the issue at the heart of this story -- separations and retirements.