After undergoing the strenuous initial SEAL training called “Hell Week,” one candidate has now passed away.
One Navy SEAL Candidate died and another one was in the hospital. Both of them began to fall ill on Friday just a couple of hours after they had gone through all the extreme training that goes along with “Hell Week.”
Both were quickly taken to the hospital after appearing sick.
“Two Navy SEAL candidates, assigned to Naval Special Warfare Basic Training Command, were taken to the hospital on Feb. 4 several hours after their Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL (BUD/S) class successfully completed Hell Week, part of the first phase of the Navy SEAL assessment and selection pathway,” a statement from the Navy’s Special Warfare Command stated, according to ABC News.
Navy Seal Candidate Dies
The candidate, whose name is not currently public, died at the Sharp Coronado Hospital in Coronado, California on February 4. The other is still in stable condition at this time. As for the cause of death, that is still under investigation at this time as well.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time a Navy SEAL candidate has passed away as a result of the strenuous and dangerous training program. A 21-year-old named Seaman James Lovelace drowned during his first week of training back in May 2016. Since then, the Navy has placed new safety protocols to make the swimming portion safer for candidates.
“From time to time training fatalities do occur. Although tragic, adhering to the training curriculum keeps SEALs alive in combat. It’s necessary, it can’t be diluted. Condolences to the family of the trainee. They’ll always be a part of the community and we will always be there as able,” Eric Oehlerich, a retired SEAL and contributor to ABC News, said.
He also said that he does believe the difficult training is mostly safe. It is run by professional instructors that are highly trained and with certain medical safeguards in place. Unfortunately, such extreme training always comes with risks for those involved.
What Exactly Goes on During ‘Hell Week’?
The Hell Week program is the most prominent and well-known part of the BUD/S training.
It consists of 5 1/2 days full of operational training that the candidates do on less than four hours of sleep each day. It’s cold, wet, and extremely difficult.
According to the official Navy SEAL website, “Hell Week tests physical endurance, mental toughness, pain and cold tolerance, teamwork, attitude, and your ability to perform work under high physical and mental stress, and sleep deprivation. Above all, it tests determination and desire.”
In fact, only 25% of candidates make it through the toughest training in the U.S. Military. That means it may be one of the most effective training programs too.