The Navy has announced that it has suspended its search for Airman Apprentice Ethan Goolsby of the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CNV 71) as of sunset Saturday night. Air and surface assets including the Theodore Roosevelt, USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), USS Russell (DDG 59), USS Howard (DDG 83), USS Charleston (LCS 18), USS Portland (LPD 27) the U.S. Coast Guard and both fixed and rotary-wing aircraft searched more than 607 square nautical miles for more than 55 hours according to the Navy’s release.
Goolsby’s status has been changed to missing and presumed deceased.
The Navy notified Goolsby’s family prior to ending search efforts for their only child. In a Facebook post on Saturday morning of the 12th, Ethan’s father remained hopeful that his son would be found,
First of all we would like to thank all of our family, extended family, and friends, and neighbors around Texas, the country, and the world for all of the messages of your support in this harrowing time for all of us. Please keep them coming, it all helps though we may not have time to return the sentiment for a while. I will focus on what is going on right now.
1. The Navy is still in search and rescue mode and that is their primary focus at this time though an NCIS investigation is running concurrently.
2. We have spoken twice now since last night to Captain Eric J. Anduze-Commanding Officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, we have received more information from him. Primarily that Ethan was last seen during “Morning Quarters” from 7:00 – 7:15 AM PDT. This was following a night shift that he was on Wednesday night.
3. We have learned more about Ethan’s movements prior to deployment and that he actually did 10 days ROM in barracks and then two weeks off pre-deployment sequestration in a hotel in the San Diego area.
4. We expect another update from our local assistance officer this afternoon following a 1:00 PDT meeting that the Commanding Officer will have regarding the search and rescue efforts for Ethan.
Please keep Ethan and our family in your prayers, we are holding out hope for a miracle.
The Press release included public statements of condolences to the family by the Captain of the Roosevelt, Eric Anduze, “The loss of our Sailor is felt deeply by all on board,” wrote Captain Anduze. “The entire Theodore Roosevelt team sends our deepest condolences to the family of our missing shipmate.”

Rear Admiral Doug Verissimo, Commander of Carrier Strike Group 9 (CSG9) offered his condolences as well: “The Carrier Strike Group Nine team sends our thoughts and prayers to the family and loved ones of our missing shipmate. I offer my thanks to all the Sailors and Coast Guardsmen who were involved in the search.”

As is customary, when any sailor is lost at sea, an investigation by the Navy Safety Center and the Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) will be conducted to determine the events leading up to AA Goolsby going overboard. This is in order to determine whether the event was accidental, intentional, or whether foul play was involved.

SOFREP joins the Navy in extending its heartfelt condolences to the family of Aviation Ordnancmen Airman Apprentice Ethan Goolsby. May he Rest In Peace.

We make a lot out of the heroic sacrifices our men and women in uniform have made in combat with the enemy. But this is part of the price of freedom too. A young sailor lost in the mundane and routine performance of his daily work duties.