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Navy SEAL commander dies after weekend training accident in Virginia Beach, Virginia

Cmdr. Brian Bourgeois, 43, commanding officer of SEAL Team 8, fell Saturday while fast-roping down from a helicopter, Naval Special Warfare Command said.
/ Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A Navy SEAL commander has died from injuries he got during a training accident in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Naval Special Warfare Command said Wednesday that Cmdr. Brian Bourgeois, 43, was injured Saturday when he fell while fast-roping down from a helicopter. The cause of his fall is under investigation and a Navy official said it was not clear if the rope separated from the aircraft.

Bourgeois, who was the commanding officer of SEAL Team 8, died Monday at Norfolk Sentara General Hospital in Norfolk.

Cmdr. Brian Bourgeois.
Cmdr. Brian Bourgeois.U.S. Navy

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bourgeois family — and we will ensure our community remains in support of and in relationship with Brian’s family and his children, for life,” said Rear Adm. H.W. Howard III, commander, Naval Special Warfare Command. “Brian was one of our very best leaders, who possessed all the attributes that make our force effective. We will miss his charismatic leadership and faithful stewardship of our standard. His legacy carries on in teammates he served with, led, and mentored.”

The SEAL Team 8 executive officer has temporarily assumed command.

“We are working with SEAL Team 8 to provide every form of support we possibly can to Brian’s family and teammates,” said Capt. Donald G. Wetherbee, commodore, Naval Special Warfare Group 2.

He added: “This is a great loss to everyone who knew him. He will be greatly missed.”

Bourgeois received his commission from the United States Naval Academy in May 2001.