US sailor Peter Mims was reported missing June 8 from the cruiser USS Shiloh part of the Pacific fleet near Japan. His disappearance prompted a massive search-and-rescue effort near Japan. He was presumed dead after Navy and Japanese coast guard searchers couldn’t find him in the water, only for the missing sailor to be discovered alive and well, hiding on board his vessel, a week later.
Mims, 23, wasn’t overboard, he was in the engine room — having somehow survived there for a week, the Navy Times reported,
When Mims failed to check in during a night-watch shift June 8, it sparked a shipwide search as officials feared he had thrown himself overboard.
A subsequent search turned up a urine-filled water bottle in a secluded engine room, but Mims was not found.
Seaman Peter Mims was found covered in excrement and clutching a water bottle, a multitool, the Easter candy Peeps and an empty peanut butter jar when shipmates discovered him in the bowels of the USS Shiloh, according to report.
The sailor who allegedly is disturbed, went missing from his ship for a week over the summer spent his time AWOL eating from vending machines and wallowing in his own filth in a sweltering engine room, according to a new report.
Even before his disappearance, Mims it has been reported, had acted erratically, telling shipmates he had traveled to outer space and could shoot fireballs from his hands.
The Navy Times reveals that the ship’s CO, Capt. Adam Aycock ,refused three times to call for a man-overboard search, despite urging from Mims’ supervisors and the fact that a 60-pound weighted vest was missing from the ship.
“The CO [Capt. Aycock], stated GSM3 Mims, ‘didn’t kill himself. He’s still on the ship,’ ” an investigation report states, according to the Navy Times.
Aycock eventually initiated the water search and ordered the Shiloh to return to the area of the Philippine Sea where Mims first went missing an hour-and-a-half after Mims disappeared.
Seaman Mims [photo], surfaced four days later, when a fellow sailor found him covered in rust and filling up a 34-gallon water bag in a lounge area at 4 a.m. June 12.
When he finally emerged on June 15, “Mims stated he believed people were trying to kill him, that he had not defecated since going into hiding,” according to the report.
The sailor did not turn Mims in, fearing the 150-pound rogue military man “could physically beat him in a fight,” the report states.
Instead, the sailor took a 90-minute nap before telling anyone he’d encountered the missing Mims. Worse, when he finally did report encountering Mims, he was met with disbelief. Superiors said he had “credibility problems” – as they were in the middle of disciplining him for an unrelated matter.
The report notes that the search crew got close to Mims’ hideout on June 13 but avoided a section of the engine room where Mims was hiding because it was too hot and smelly.
“(Main engine room) 2 catacombs were not cleared because of overwhelming smells, assumed at the time to be fuel and oil, but later assessed to be urine and feces,” the investigators’ report states.
Ultimately during another round of searching on June 15, a sailor literally stumbled across Mims, slumped behind a door to the engine room.
Rather than apprehend Mims, the sailor left for a few minutes to collect himself. He returned, convinced Mims to turn himself in, and then left Mims alone a second time to go grab a superior, by then Mims given himself up.
The Navy has begun the process of separating him from the service.
Interestingly, while he was missing, a superior signed off on a review of Mims that stated he was a “Model Petty Officer that consistently leads by example seeking greater responsibility,” according to the Navy Times.