What kills sailors in the Navy?

Was working on a Naval ship in the yard yesterday and the CO was distraught from the death of a 21 year old crew member who drove his motorcycle into the back of a car that stopped quick in commuter traffic on way to work.

Seems to be a standard story in the papers. Unless you are a special forces type, is the most probable cause of death in the Navy from motorcycles and car accidents?

I believe the same statistic holds true for offshore workers as well.

Thank God our leading cause of death in the industry isn’t helicopter crashes! It seems that fact belongs to the North Sea tho.


Navy is probably not much different from the general population. Motor Vehicle Accidents is the # 1 cause of death for young folks.

#2 is homicide.

#3 is Suicide.

Other than aviators ( Fly Navy! Divers need the work), corpsman working with marines and spec ops, I knew of 4 deaths in my 6 yrs during the 80’s. 2 were auto accidents, one the POOW blew his brains out on the quarterdeck and one kid got fried in the boiler of the USS Detroit in '88-89. No 2 valve protection while cleaning. Oh yeah, the USS Iowa.

During my time in, I lost two shipmates to heart attack (both under 40), one to suicide (onboard, hung himself), one to drowning, and another in traffic. It’s weird how I vividly recall those.