March 26, 2008
Navy expresses regret for Suez death
The U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet has expressed regret for the death of an Egyptian citizen who died March 24, an apparent result from warning shots fired at a small boat approaching a ship chartered by the U.S. Navy.
"We express our deepest sympathies to the family," said Vice Adm. Kevin J. Cosgriff, commander, U.S. 5th Fleet. "We accept responsibility for actions that apparently resulted in this accidental death. This situation is tragic, and we will help take care of the victim's family."
The U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet Command is continuing to work cooperatively with Egyptian authorities, including the Suez Canal authorities through the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, to fully investigate this incident.
"We will work through the investigation very thoroughly, coordinating with authorities and the embassy, to get a full and transparent account of what happened," Cosgriff stated.
An embarked U.S. security team on board the Navy's Military Sealift Command ship Global Patriot fired warning shots at a small boat approaching the ship as it was preparing to transit the Suez Canal Monday night at approximately 8:00 p.m. Two other boats had also approached the chartered ship but turned away following warnings from Global Patriot.