Second Marine Drowns in Japan; Temporary Ban on Swimming

Three drownings in one month have prompted military officials to ban use of the Maeda Point swimming area.

A Camp Pendleton-based Marine has died in Japan, the third to drown in the same swimming area on Okinawa. The series of drownings has prompted  military officials to ban use of the area. 

U.S. Marine Sergeant Aubrey Williams, of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, died at approximately 3:40 p.m. Saturday at Maeda Point.  The area is a popular snorkeling and diving spot about 13 miles north of Okinawa.

According to 2nd Lt. Jacky Chow, spokesperson for the III Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), two Marines died on Saturday and Sunday but in separate incidents. 

A second Marine, who has not been identified, died Sunday afternoon. He was with the 3rd Logistics Group.

Williams was a UH-1 Helicopter Crew Chief for Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force.

The Illinois native served in the Marine Corps since 2012. He was previously based in Cherry Point, North Carolina and Yuma, Arizona.

Earlier in October, Petty Officer 1st Class Jorge Noriega Suarez also died in a diving accided at Mermain Grotto in Japan.

An investigation is underway.

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