The Naval Special Warfare Command announced the commander of SEAL Team 8 died following an accident during a training exercise over the weekend.
Cmdr. Brian Bourgeois, 43, was participating in a "fast-rope training" on Saturday (December 4) near Virginia Beach when he fell out of a helicopter. He was rushed to Norfolk Sentara General Hospital and was pronounced dead on Tuesday.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bourgeois family – and we will ensure our community remains in support of and in relationship with Brian's family and his children, for life," said Rear Adm. H.W. Howard III, commander, Naval Special Warfare Command. "Brian was one of our very best leaders, who possessed all the attributes that make our force effective. We will miss his charismatic leadership and faithful stewardship of our standard. His legacy carries on in teammates he served with, led, and mentored."
Officials said the cause of the accident is under investigation.
"We are working with SEAL Team 8 to provide every form of support we possibly can to Brian's family and teammates," said Capt. Donald G. Wetherbee, commodore, Naval Special Warfare Group 2. "An incident like this weighs heavily on us all. Brian was as tough as they come, an outstanding leader, and a committed father, husband, and friend. This is a great loss to everyone who knew him. He will be greatly missed."