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Search continues for sailor from Lincoln reported missing from Navy ship

The U.S. Fleet Forces Command said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Christopher W. Clavin, of Lincoln, was reported overboard Tuesday afternoon from the USS Normandy, which is based in Norfolk, Virginia. (Photo courtesy of The U.S. Fleet Forces Command )

The search for a U.S. Navy sailor from Rhode Island continues two days after being reported overboard from a guided-missile cruiser off the coast of North Carolina.

The U.S. Fleet Forces Command said Fire Controlman 2nd Class Christopher W. Clavin, of Lincoln, was reported overboard Tuesday afternoon from the USS Normandy, which is based in Norfolk, Virginia.

"Every Navy and Coast Guard member participating in this operation is dedicated to finding our lost shipmate,” Adm. Phil Davidson, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces, said in a press release Thursday. “Our thoughts are with Petty Officer Clavin and his family during this difficult time.”

Clavin’s mother, Theresa Iafrate, identified her son to NBC 10 News on Thursday.

Iafrate said the 23-year-old graduated from Lincoln High School and went straight into the Navy.

She also said that she is hopeful as the search approaches the end of its second day.

Lt. Cmdr. Brian Wierzbicki said the sailor went overboard around 3 p.m. Tuesday while the ship was underway conducting training near Cherry Point, North Carolina. He said the Navy and Coast Guard immediately began a search.

“Personnel observed Petty Officer Clavin fall into the water 80 miles off the coast Tuesday, resulting in an immediate man overboard call and a massive search and rescue effort…,” the release noted.

The search involves aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), with four embarked helicopters, U.S. Coast Guard medium endurance cutter USCGC Forward (WMEC 911), as well as guided missile destroyers USS Bainbridge (DDG 96), USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) and USS Mason (DDG 87).

Additional Navy and Coast Guard aircraft have also been assisting in the search, according to the release.

Clavin enlisted in the service in July 2012. He had been stationed on the USS Normandy since November 2013.

Iafrate told NBC 10 her son is an accomplished distance runner who is in great shape. She also said this year marked his final year of enlistment, as he had plans to go to college following his service.

Clavin's family plans to head to North Carolina on Friday if he has not been found.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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