Navy SEAL Training Has Been Deadly in Recent Months

3 deaths reported during last 4 training courses
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2016 3:00 PM CDT
Navy SEAL Training Has Been Deadly in Recent Months
Navy SEAL trainees carry inflatable boats at the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado in Coronado, California, in 2009.   (AP Photo/Denis Poroy, File)

Twenty-one-year-old James Lovelace died last week while undergoing the rigorous—and dangerous—training to become a Navy SEAL. Now the Washington Post reports he isn't alone. Lovelace's was the third death over the past four Navy SEAL training programs. Caplen Weare died in November while drinking and driving after learning he hadn't passed the course. His mother tells the Post her son shouldn't have been alone after losing his lifelong dream of being a SEAL. In April, Daniel DelBianco jumped from the roof of a hotel after learning he wouldn't become a SEAL. Lovelace drowned May 6 during a training exercise in a pool. There were also three reported deaths during SEAL training in March and April 2015.

The six-month course sailors need to pass to become SEALs is notoriously difficult. Eighty percent of sailors who attempt it drop out, many during a particularly brutal stretch known as "Hell Week." DelBianco was reportedly in the middle of Hell Week and going on 50 hours without sleep when he killed himself. The recent deaths are raising questions about the safety of the SEAL training and if the NAVY does enough for sailors who find themselves despondent after failing out. However, it remains unclear how many deaths the training program has seen historically, meaning there is no way of knowing whether the recent string is a "spike," the Post notes. (Read more Navy SEALs stories.)

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