The U.S. Navy has passed down punishment for the sailor who was presumed to be lost at sea last month, only to be found days later, hiding on board.

“I just can’t believe he’s gone,” Amy James, the missing sailor’s sister, told CBS affiliate WJAX during the search. “Is this real? Is this a nightmare?”

She added: “He’s still alive, he’s got to be fighting for his life.”

A massive search and rescue operation was launched on June 8th, after Petty Officer 3rd Class Peter Mims, a gas turbine systems technician on the USS Shiloh, was reported as missing.  The Shiloh was conducting routine operations about 180 miles east of Okinawa, Japan, and was part of a large U.S. Navy presence in the region due to increased tensions with North Korea.

Operating under the assumption that Mims must have fallen overboard, American and Japanese ships diverted from their normal operations to search for the missing sailor, scouring over 5,500 square miles of the Philippine Sea.  After 50 hours, the decision to suspend the search was made.

“The decision to suspend the search was not arrived at lightly,” Rear Adm. Charles Williams said in a news release at the time. “Our thoughts are with our lost shipmate, his family, and the officers and crew of USS Shiloh.”

Seven days after he was reported missing, however, some of Mims’ own crewmates found the lost sailor in the last place anyone might have expected.  Mims’ shipmates found him hiding in an engineering space of the Shiloh.  He’d never even stepped foot off-ship.

According to reports, Mims small stature allowed him to hide in portions of the ship his crewmates wouldn’t have expected him to fit, allowing him to avoid detection for days, all while remaining on the ship that reported him missing.