A sailor on board a U.S. Navy destroyer in the South China Sea has disappeared, officials told Fox News Tuesday.
The sailor was reported missing from the USS Stethem approximately 140 miles west of Subic Bay in the Philippines. An official said the missing officer had checked in aboard the ship a short time before the disappearance.
Last month, the Stethem sailed within 12 nautical miles of Triton Island, which is claimed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan as part of ongoing territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
This is the second time this summer the Navy is carrying out a major search-and-rescue operation in the Pacific. In June, a missing sailor on the cruiser USS Shiloh, who had been presumed lost at sea, was found hiding in the ship's engine room. The sailor, Petty Officer 3rd Class Peter Mims, was later charged with dereliction of duty.