Sept. 9 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy said it has called off a search in the North Arabian Sea for a sailor who is believed to have fallen overboard on Sunday.
The U.S. 5th Fleet announced in a statement Tuesday that the Navy has ended its search and rescue mission after "extensive attempts" failed to find Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Ian McKnight, who was assigned to the USS Nimitz.
"We are deeply saddened as we call off the search for IT2 Ian McKnight," Capt. Max Clark, commanding officer of USS Nimitz, said in a statement. "We hold his family and friends in our hearts during this difficult time."
Nimitz, the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton and U.S Navy and Air Force aircraft conducted search and rescue operations in the North Arabian Sea where it is believed McKnight, whose name was withheld until the search mission was called off, fell overboard.
McKnight was reported missing Sunday with a man overboard alert following a thorough search of the aircraft carrier vessel, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 11.
The Navy said the incident remains under investigation.
"The strike group team sends our thoughts and prayers to the family of Petty Officer McKnight," said Rear Admiral Jim Kirk, commander of Strike Group 11. "And I offer my thanks to all the sailors and airmen who were involved in the search of our shipmate."