Whiteman Airman Found Dead After Going Missing While Swimming
A member of the 509th Security Forces Squadron was found dead yesterday, May 4, near Surfside Beach, Texas after going missing on Sunday. This according to a press release from Whiteman Air Force Base.
Elijah Posana, 22, an active-duty security response team member, on leave with family reportedly got caught in a rip current and went missing in the water. A witness reported seeing Posana being pulled by the rip current. The Coast Guard says, "Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched a Coast Guard Station Freeport 29-foot Response Boat-Small boat crew and a Coast Guard Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew."
The Coast Guard and local agency crews searched for Posana for 28 hours over an area of about 100 miles.
"The decision to suspend a search is always an extremely difficult one to make," said Capt. Jason Smith, Sector Houston-Galveston commanding officer in the release. "Every time we run a search and rescue case, we think of the missing as our own and in this case, the missing is a fellow service member which definitely weighs heavily on our hearts. Our deepest condolences go out to the airman's family and friends."
“We are deeply saddened at the outcome of the search," said Lt. Col. Devin Sproston, 509th Security Forces commander in the Whiteman Air Force Base release. "Every defender on our team is part of the fabric of this unit, this base and our security forces family. We held out hope until the last second that our Airman would be found alive. Our hearts are heavy and our thoughts and prayers are with Airman Posana’s family and friends with deepest condolences for this irreplaceable loss. We thank our brother and sister Coast Guardsmen for their valiant efforts in locating our wingman and doing their absolute best through their search efforts.