Searches continue for US Navy SEALs missing in waters of Gulf of Aden

Searches were ongoing for two US Navy SEALs who went missing after falling into the waters of the Gulf of Aden during a boarding mission on Thursday night, US officials told ABC News on Saturday.

It was as of yet unclear why the SEALs were conducting the boarding mission or what vessel they were trying to board.

US officials told The Washington Post that while attempting to board a vessel in rough seas, one of the SEALs slipped on a ladder and fell into the water. The second SEAL jumped in to try and rescue the first one in accordance with SEAL protocol, according to the AP.

Incident unrelated to Houthi attacks

A US official with knowledge of the incident told The Washington Post that the boarding during which the SEALs went missing was unrelated to the US strikes in Yemen and the international coalition to protect maritime commerce in the area from attacks by the Iran-backed Houthis.

US Navy SEALs (Illustrative) (credit: US NAVY)

CENTCOM had reported on Friday that two Navy sailors were missing in the area, although it did not specify that the two were SEALs.

“The sailors were forward-deployed to the US 5th Fleet (C5F) area of operations supporting a wide variety of missions,” said CENTCOM, adding that it would not be releasing further information as of yet due to operational security purposes and out of respect for the families affected.

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