John Sandor and Mary Graft, the parents of Master at Arms Seaman Recruit Xavier Hunter Mitchell Sandor, told CNN’s Brianna Keilar on “New Day” that their son didn’t provide much detail about the conditions on the carrier, but said the experience was “terrible.” ” used to be. †
“People shouldn’t live like this,” John Sandor told his son, adding that Xavier would call them from his car and there was a lack of hot water to shower with.
“He loved his job. He did his 12-hour shifts. And how do you sleep on an aircraft carrier during the day with jackhammering and smoke and smells? So he slept in his car,” John Sandor said of his son, who was 19. “It’s just awful. No sailor should even have lived on that ship under those conditions.”
John Sandor later said: “Knowing what was going on with the crew before him, this could have happened a long time ago and my son would still be alive. I don’t know why it took so long for the Navy to act on it. They had to wait to the seventh to actually make changes? It’s ridiculous.”
CNN contacted the Navy on Wednesday for comment.
Captain Brent Gaut, the aircraft carrier’s commanding officer, has made the decision to allow seamen living aboard the ship to move to other accommodations, according to a statement from Naval Air Force Atlantic. Although the carrier does not have its full crew of approximately 5,000 sailors, the ship will still have approximately 2,700 sailors on board during the overhaul process. During the overhaul, approximately 420 sailors will live on board the ship.
The ship’s command is working to identify sailors who “can benefit from and desire the support services and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) programs” available at local naval facilities. The Navy is in the process of setting up “temporary accommodations” for these sailors, according to an earlier statement from Naval Air Force Atlantic.
The results of the Navy’s investigation into the deaths are expected this week, U.S. Naval Air Force Atlantic commander Admiral John Meier told reporters on Tuesday.
“We’ve appointed a investigating officer to look into that and really look into the immediate cause. Was there a direct cause? Was there a connection between those events? I expect this to report this week, and I won’t assume the outcome of that report,” Meier said.
The investigation is one of two conducted by the United States Navy. The second study, Meier also said, has a “much broader scope” and focuses on “command climate, command culture.”
In response to the three suicides in April, the Navy added resources to the ship, including a “ship psychologist,” “resilience advisors” and “a 13-person sprint team, which is a special intervention team for cases like this.” said Meier.
Editor’s Note: If you or a loved one has considered suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text TALK at 741741.
CNN’s Oren Liebermann contributed to this report.