SOC Eric Shellenberger passed away after experiencing an underwater emergency off Bremerton:
During an SDV training dive in the very early morning hours Thursday, Shellenberger encountered difficulties in the water and signaled for an emergency ascent. Upon reaching the surface, he was non-responsive and rescue breathing was administered.
Shellenberger was taken to Keyport pier where regional emergency medical technicians continued rescue efforts. He was then transported to Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Keyport where heroic advanced life saving efforts (including advanced cardiac life support and treatment in the recompression chamber) continued without success.
“This is a heart-wrenching loss for us and, most assuredly, the Shellenberger family,” said Adm. Edward Winters III, commander, Naval Special Warfare Command. “The strength of our small, close-knit community is in our exceptional personnel. Eric was one such individual. He bravely and willingly accepted the risks inherent in training for and carrying out special operations mission. I extend my deepest sympathy to Eric’s family and friends. Please know he will not be forgotten.”
Just 36 years old, and a veteran of seven combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Rising to the challenge of being on of the country’s elite special operators can be hazardous to your health even when nobody’s shooting at you.