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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, November 29, 2001

Search continues for Hawai'i-based sailor

By William Cole
Advertiser Military Writer

The Navy yesterday had no new information about a sailor reported missing in the Indian Ocean Tuesday aboard the Pearl Harbor-based destroyer USS Russell.

The search was expected to continue for 72 hours for Petty Officer 2nd Class Randy Glenn Whitaker, 31, of Trinidad, Texas.

Whitaker was discovered missing at the 6 a.m. daily muster aboard the 505-foot guided missile destroyer when it was 740 nautical miles southwest of India. The ship has a crew of 24 officers, 30 chief petty officers, and 278 sailors.

Whitaker was last seen at 4:30 a.m. The crew conducted a search of the ship's interior. A Navy P-3C Maritime patrol aircraft was searching the region of ocean traversed by the Russell from the time Whitaker was last seen to the time he was discovered missing.

The incident remains under investigation, the Navy said. The Russell left Pearl Harbor Oct. 25 for a six-month deployment.

The Russell and the USS O'Brien, based out of Yokosuka, Japan, were docked in Singapore in mid-November.

Reach William Cole at wcole@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-5459.