On Monday, officials said a US Naval Academy midshipman died in Chile after he lost his balance on a hike and then fell into a waterfall.
Luke Gabriel Bird, 21, was walking with a student at the Chilean Naval Academy near the Salto el Agua Falls in Plasilla, Chile, on Saturday morning when he allegedly “stumbled” and fell down the falls, the Naval Academy said.
The next morning, Chilean authorities discovered Byrd’s body in a lagoon near the falls. It is not clear why it took the authorities about 24 hours to find his body. The Naval Academy did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Byrd, midshipman 2nd class, spent a semester abroad in Chile. It was part of the Arturo Prata Naval Academy program which serves as Chile’s Naval Academy.
“We are incredibly saddened by the tragic death of Midshipman Luke Byrd this weekend,” Vice Admiral Sean Buck, Superintendent of the Naval Academy, said in a statement.
Buck encouraged members of the Naval Academy to support each other through the grieving process.
Bird is originally from New Braunfels, Texas, where he wrestled for three years in high school and served as a battalion commander in the JROTC Marine School Unit.