Naval Sailor Electrocuted: Navy Continues Investigation

Philip Brookes /
Philip Brookes /

A tragic incident occurred late last month when Sonar Technician Submarine 3rd Class Timothy Sanders, aged 22, was electrocuted and found deceased aboard the attack submarine Helena. The submarine was docked at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, at the time of the incident on May 24, as confirmed by officials from Naval Submarine Force Atlantic.

The circumstances surrounding Sanders’ death are currently under investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The Navy has refrained from releasing additional details due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.

Navy spokesman Cmdr. Jason Fischer expressed the collective heartbreak of the naval community, stating, “We deeply mourn the loss of our shipmate, and our thoughts and prayers are with the sailor’s family, friends and coworkers during this difficult time.” He also noted that grief counseling and support services are being made available through the chain of command and local chaplain resources.

Sanders, affectionately known as Timmy, is remembered fondly in his obituary, which highlights his infectious smile and the joy he brought to every gathering. “Timmy loved his service to the Navy, loved being a sailor and loved his ship mates like family,” the obituary reads. It also mentions his recent reenlistment and his aspiration to eventually become a master chief.

His obituary further describes him as a man of strong moral fiber: “Timmy was always filled with honor and had a moral code that had no gray area.” His decision to join the Navy was a natural fit, as noted by his family, “We were not surprised when he chose the Navy.”

Sanders is survived by his fiancé, his parents, four sisters, six nephews, one niece, and a broader circle of cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. His family’s statement poignantly captures their profound loss: “His absence will leave our family forever incomplete.”

The naval community and Sanders’ loved ones continue to cope with this profound loss as they await further details from the ongoing investigation.