The missing sailor from the USS Shiloh who triggered a massive man overboard search in the Philippine Sea, but was later found alive on board the ship, has been charged with abandoning watch and dereliction of duty, a U.S. Navy spokesman said Tuesday.
Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Mechanical) Petty Officer 3rd Class Peter Mims admitted that his disappearance on board the Shiloh was intentional and that he took steps to avoid detection, Lt. Paul Newell, spokesman for the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet told ABC News.
Mims, 23, disappeared on June 8 while the Shiloh was operating 180 miles east of Okinawa, Japan. The U.S. Navy, Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force and Japanese Coast Guard then spent over 50 hours and covered roughly 5,500 square miles looking for the sailor.
The search was suspended at midnight on June 11 and the Navy released the sailor's name, presumably after he was determined to have been lost at sea. Four days later, Mims was found in the ship's engineering spaces alive. He attended an "Admiral's mast," a non-judicial punishment within the Navy, "due to the seriousness this had on the strike group and our Japanese allies," Newell said.
The charges violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice's Article 86, abandoning watch, and Article 92, dereliction in the performance of duties.
Newell said the Navy is looking into pursuing additional administrative actions against Mims. He could not speculate on whether other sailors on board the Shiloh were implicated in his disappearance.