The U.S. Navy said that a pair of its divers who died at Aberdeen Proving Ground Tuesday were from Ohio and Missouri.
They were identified as Navy Diver 1st class James Reyher and Navy Diver 2nd Class Ryan Harris in a statement from the Navy released Wednesday.
Reyher, 28, was from Caldwell, OH and Harris, 23, was from Gladstone, MO, the statement said.
Both were assigned to a mobile diving and salvage unit at Little Creek-Fort Story, a base in Virginia Beach, VA. Each had enlisted in 2008 and graduated from boot camp in Great Lakes, IL. Both proceeded to Panama City, FL, for dive training.
From 2008 to 2012, Reyher served at Naval Intermediate Maintenance Facility Pacific Northwest in Washington State before his assignment to Virginia Beach in April 2012.
Harris was assigned to the base in Virginia in June 2011 after serving in New London, CT, since 2007.
Both Navy men were described as "exceptional Sailors" by Capt. John Coffey, deputy commander of the explosive ordnance disposal group to which the two belonged.
The men were killed "while conducting dive operations" at the Aberdeen ordnance pond, according to a statement from the Navy.
The explosive ordnance disposal group is investigating the deaths, the statement said.
"Ryan [Harris] and James [Reyher] epitomized the unsung hero persona of the Navy Diver. We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve with them," said Michael Runkle, commanding officer of the men's mobile diving and salvage unit. "We are all deeply saddened by their loss and are focusing on supporting their families during this time of need."
The Feb. 26 incident at the ordnance pond in Aberdeen resulted in the third fatality in one month at the base; on Jan. 30, a man died while diving in the "super pond."
- Two Dead after Incident at APG Pond
- Body Recovered from Aberdeen Proving Ground
- Officials Identify Diver who Died in APG Super Pond