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Kentucky Sailor Swept Off Submarine

A sailor from western Kentucky is dead after he and another sailor were swept off the deck of an American submarine.

Senior Chief Thomas E. Higgins, of Paducah, Kentucky, and Petty
Officer second Class Michael J. Holtz, of Lakewood, Ohio, died after falling overboard while the U-S-S Minneapolis-St Paul on Friday, the U-S Navy said yesterday in a statement.

The accident occurred as the submarine, accompanied by police boats, was leaving Devonport Naval Base in Plymouth, England, in rough seas. Four sailors, including Higgins and Holtz, were tied to the vessel with ropes - a routine procedure - but were knocked into the water by surging waves.

They rescued by the police boats, and the four were transported
to a Plymouth hospital for treatment. The two survivors were treated for minor injuries and discharged.

The Sixth Fleet's statement says the accident remains under
investigation.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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