Navy SEAL's Death Draws Lowered Flags In MD


Navy Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Christopher J. Chambers is one of the two SEALs who were lost at sea during a raid on a boat carrying illicit Iranian-made weapons to Yemen. (Department of Defense via AP, File)

Patch manager Deb Belt wrote this story.

MARYLAND — While state flags have been flying at half-staff to honor fallen Navy Special Warfare Operator First Class Christopher Chambers, a Maryland native who died in the line of duty last month, Gov. Wes Moore has ordered the United States flag lowered to half-staff, as well.

The flag should be lowered from sunrise to sunset, Friday, Feb. 9, the day of the memorial service for Chambers, the governor's office said. Both flags will return to full-staff at sunset on Friday.

Chambers died during the raid of an unflagged ship that was carrying illicit Iranian-made weapons to Yemen.

The Associated Press reported that Chambers, 37, who grew up in Prince George's County, was boarding the boat on Jan. 11 and slipped into the gap the high waves had created between the vessel and the SEALs’ craft. As Chambers fell, Navy Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Nathan Gage Ingram jumped in to try to save him, according to U.S. officials.

Efforts to find and rescue both men were unsuccessful.

Related: MD Navy SEAL's Death Details Revised, Donations Raised For Family

Chambers is survived by a wife and a baby girl, according to a photo shared on the foundation's website. The Navy SEAL Foundation has been accepting donations to assist the Chambers family.

Chambers grew up near Cheverly, where he coached other kids at the Cheverly Swim and Racquet Club.

Former University of Maryland swim coach Sean Schimmel recalled Chambers and the impact he had on others there.

“What stands out … he had a huge big smile, and he always had it,” Schimmel told WTOP. “And he was just a really genuine person and a nice person.”

Schimmel also remembered Chambers’ stint as one of the Testudo the Terrapin mascots at other University of Maryland sporting events.

“Maryland and the nation have lost a hero. Special Operator First Class Christopher J. Chambers wasn't just a distinguished Navy SEAL, he was a true patriot in every beautiful sense of the word," Gov. Wes Moore said in a statement. "He put his life on the line for our safety and security, and we will never forget his ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. My heart breaks for the friends and family of Special Operator Chambers, as well as all who served alongside him."

Chambers and Ingram were exceptional warriors, cherished teammates, and dear friends to many within the Naval Special Warfare community, said Capt. Blake L. Chaney, commander, Naval Special Warfare Group 1, in a statement.

“Chris and Gage selflessly served their country with unwavering professionalism and exceptional capabilities," Chaney said. "This loss is devastating for NSW, our families, the special operations community, and across the nation."

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