The US Navy Seal that was killed on Memorial Day after he plummeted to his death when his parachute failed to open during a display has been identified as 27-year-old Remington Peters, Special Operator First Class out of Colorado. Peters was jumping with the Leap Frogs, the official skydiving demonstration unit of the US Navy, when the accident happened.
“Although our time with him was cut short, we are so grateful that we were blessed with such a positive and principled loving man,'” said Peters’ family in a statement. “He is painfully missed. No words could do justice, but we are so grateful for all that he taught us, and all the love he gave us in his 27 wonderful years.”
Peters enlisted in the Special Forces in 2008 and was well-decorated, earning the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan and Iraq Campaign Medals and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He was a member of the Navy SEALs commando unit that operates under the Naval Special Warfare Command at the time of the accident, as well as member of the parachute team for 12 months with more 900 jumps to his name.
A spokesperson for the Navy said that the incident at the week-long ‘Fleet Week’ festivities were the result of an equipment malfunction when Peters landed in the Hudson River during a jump at Liberty State Park in Jersey City. He was pulled from Morris Canal near the mouth of the Hudson River moments later, a tragedy witnessed by thousands of spectators watching the show.
In amateur footage captured by Aaron Moss, a piece of the parachute can be seen falling after Peters had separated and landed in the water, however, it is still unknown whether or not he was able to cut-away from his chute or if the reserve parachute malfunctioned as well. The Navy spokesperson simply said that it was too soon to speculate.
“My husband and I are in tears tonight,” said Theresa Saleeby Awad yesterday, who watched with her family as the tragedy unfolded. “Our hearts ache for this fallen soldier who wanted nothing more today than to delight a cheering crowd.”