Feb 5, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Navy SEAL candidate dies after "Hell Week"

Cypriot Navy special forces and US Navy SEALS take part in a joint US-Cyprus rescue exercise in the port of the southern Cypriot port city of Limassol on September 10, 2021.
Cypriot Navy special forces and U.S. Navy SEALs take part in a joint US-Cyprus rescue exercise in the port of the southern Cypriot port city of Limassol on Sept. 10. Photo: Iakovos Hatzistavrou/AFP via Getty Images

A Navy SEAL candidate died on Friday and another was hospitalized in San Diego at the end of what is known as Hell Week, an intense training phase for the military unit, NBC News reports.

Driving the news: The candidates were taken to the hospital Friday "several hours after their Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL (BUD/S) class successfully completed Hell Week, part of the first phase of the Navy SEAL assessment and selection pathway," Naval Special Warfare command said in a statement, per NBC.

  • "One candidate died at Sharp Coronado Hospital in Coronado, California, on Feb. 4. The other candidate is in stable condition at Naval Medical Center San Diego," per the statement.
  • The death is being investigated, according to Naval Special Warfare Command, which did not immediately respond to Axios' requests for comment.

The big picture: Hell Week, which happens during an early stage of the training process, "is the defining event" of SEALs training, according to the Navy SEALs website.

  • "Hell Week consists of 5 1/2 days of cold, wet, brutally difficult operational training on fewer than four hours of sleep," according to the site.
  • Approximately 25% of SEALs candidates make it through Hell Week each year.
  • As many as 17 SEALs who made it through the course died in training accidents over the last two decades, NBC News reports.
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