Missing Navy sailor remembered as ‘easygoing’ LHS student

Missing Navy sailor remembered as ‘easygoing’ LHS student

LINCOLN – Chris Clavin, a sailor with the U.S. Navy who was reported missing at sea, was honored with a moment of silence during Lincoln High School’s graduation last Friday, the same day a search and rescue operation for Clavin was suspended.

Clavin, 23, a 2012 LHS graduate, was reported overboard on June 6 after he fell off the USS Normandy, a missile cruiser, about 80 miles off the coast of Cherry Point, N.C., officials said.

On Monday, faculty members at LHS described Clavin as a quiet, polite student who worked well with fellow classmates.

English teacher Mike Griffith, who had Clavin in class when Clavin was a junior and senior at the school, called him “easygoing,” and said he was soft spoken.

Griffin, automotive teacher Roy Boudreau and Beth Bedrossian, health and physical education teacher, remembered Clavin as a quiet student who worked well with his peers and always “did his job,” whether that meant submitting English assignments, working on cars, or gym activities.

Clavin was liked by his classmates, and was “kind to everyone,” Bedrossian said.

Principal Kevin McNamara said, “We’re here for anything (his) family may need,” and said the school community’s thoughts and prayers were with Clavin’s friends and family during a difficult time. He offered his condolences to Clavin’s shipmates, and said of the LHS graduate, “We thank him for his service.”

A statement from the U.S. Fleet Forces Public Affairs, published June 9, read, “After an exhaustive search, Navy and Coast Guard assets ended their efforts” with the search operation, adding that the Navy and Coast Guard team covered approximately 6,300 square miles and spent more than 76 hours searching for Clavin.

Fire Controlman 2nd Class Christopher Clavin, the release continued, had been on the ship during training exercises off the North Carolina coast at the time the overboard call was made.

A massive search and rescue response came next, according to the statement, involving the USS Normandy ship, aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, four helicopters, U.S. Coast Guard medium endurance cutter USCGC Forward, guided missile destroyers USS Bainbridge, USS The Sullivans and USS Mason, as well as Navy and Coast Guard aircraft.

Capt. Derek Trinque, commanding officer of USS Normandy, said in a statement, “We are deeply saddened by the loss of our shipmate, Petty Officer Chris Clavin.”

“He was an important part of the team and a friend to so many on board,” Trinque continued. “We are not alone in our grief. Our hearts and thoughts are also with Chris’s mother, sister and his entire family.”

As of press time, an investigation was still ongoing.