Young Navy recruit dies suddenly, marking 2nd boot camp death since February

Kelsey Nobles.jpg
Posted at 11:40 AM, Apr 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-29 11:40:14-04

A young recruit died at the Navy's boot camp training center in Illinois last week, marking the second sudden death at the facility in recent months, authorities confirmed Sunday.

Seaman Recruit Kelsey Nobles, 18, died on Tuesday shortly after she collapsed at the Navy Recruit Training Center in Great Lakes, Illinois, the force's only boot camp center. She was two weeks shy of graduation.

A U.S. Navy spokesperson confirmed the young woman's death in a statement on Sunday afternoon, calling it a "tragic loss."

"The Navy, and Recruit Training Command, take the welfare of our recruits and Sailors very seriously and are investigating the cause of this tragic loss," LT Joseph Pfaff, PAO for Navy and recruit training command, told ABC News in a statement. "Our thoughts are with Seaman Recruit Nobles’ family and friends during this tragic time."

Nobles, a native of Alabama, was completing her final physical fitness assessment when she collapsed, Pfaff said. She received first aid care and was transported to Lake Forest Hospital, just north of Chicago, where she died.

Pfaff declined to say if Nobles had a pre-existing condition that may have been waived in order for her to join.

Another recruit, 20-year-old Kierra Evans, of Louisiana, died under similar circumstances at the boot camp facility earlier this year.

She collapsed during a physical assessment on Feb. 22 and was transported to a nearby hospital where she died hours later. She was set to graduate the following week.

Evans celebrated the beginning of her military journey in a Facebook post on Jan. 2.

"In so little time everything has happened so fast. Yes I will miss just walking in my mommy’s room just to talk or admire how much I love to just be in her presence," she wrote. "But now I am apart of the U.S. Navy and Chicago is where I belong for 8 weeks. To all of my closest friends that stood by my side through it ALL I love you all so much and will be back soon."

Pfaff said both deaths are under investigation.