The U.S. Navy sailor reported overboard from the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln in the Arabian Sea on Wednesday is said by Bryan native Lexi Posey, 22, to be her fiance, Slayton Saldana, 24, she told The Bryan Times on Thursday.
Navy officials declined to confirm or deny him as the missing sailor until 72 hours after family is notified in accordance with policy. According to Posey, the family has been notified of the situation.
Slayton is a San Antonio, Texas, native.
“I want the world to know that I love him and I still believe he is out there alive and kicking ass out there in the water,” said Posey of AT2 Saldana, who she referred to as the love of her life. “...I still believe he’s alive.”
Two U.S. ships, including the Abraham Lincoln, a Spanish frigate and a Pakistani naval ship, are conducting a search-and-rescue operation as of Thursday, according to national media outlets. Also according to national outlets, the ship routed to the Arabian Sea in recent weeks in what U.S. officials say is a deterrence amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran.
Some of Saldana’s belongings were said by Posey to have been found on the side of a catwalk at 5:45 a.m. Wednesday. According to Posey, the water is about 80-degrees and has been calm Thursday afternoon. She also indicated he is believed to have been wearing his float coat.
A Navy public affairs officer could offer no information on how far from the coast the ship was when the sailor went missing, nor could they offer a timetable on how long the search will continue.
Posey was the subject of 2017 profile story focused on two former Bryan High School classmates unexpectedly meeting up at sea with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
Posey graduated from Bryan High in 2015.