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US midshipman plunges to death at Chilean waterfall

US midshipman plunges to death

US midshipman plunges to death at Chilean waterfall

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — US midshipman plunges to death at Chilean waterfall, after falling over a waterfall in Chile.

On Sunday morning, the Chilean authorities found the body of Luke Gabriel Bird, 21, in a lake off the Salto El Agua waterfall.
 The US Naval Academy said in a statement Monday.

Gabriel Bird, a second-class naval officer, which means (the equivalent of a college student) from Texas, was in the South American country as a sort of study abroad with the Chilean Naval Academy.

According to US officials, the accident was as follows: the young man slipped on Saturday morning while hiking with a student at the Chilean Naval Academy, and then drowned to death.

Vice Admiral Sean Buck, the 63rd Superintendent of the US Naval Academy, said:
"We are incredibly saddened by the tragic loss of Navy Captain Luke Byrd this weekend."

The 21-year-old was hiking with a student from school on Saturday near a waterfall called Salto El Agua in Placilla, Valparaíso region. He slipped and fell over the waterfall and drowned.

Chilean authorities found Baird's body in Lake Waterfall on Sunday.

 Baird was a member of the Twenty and Two Companies and was majoring in ocean engineering.

Bird was a three-year member of the New Braunfels high school wrestling team and was the team captain in his younger and older years.

The Academy wrote about him, that he was also active in his student government.
 Vice President of the National Honor Society.
 and a battalion commander of the JROTC Marine Corps unit at his high school.

Academy 1st Class Travis Delgado (ranked as an Elder) said:
 “We attended many courses together, which allowed me to get to know him far from just being colleagues in the company.”
“He mentored and taught me on our joint courses, and spent a lot of his free time helping me.

"He was pretty much the industrious captain of the ship helping anyone at the fall of a hat. He was a great man and would be sorely missed by everyone in the Twentieth Division and throughout the brigade."

The Naval Academy said the young man was entitled to wear the National Defense Service Medal.

Funeral arrangements are still pending.
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