US involved in deep sea search for two missing Georgian soldiers

  • Two Georgian soldiers still remain missing. Photo by, 17 Aug 2016 - 14:10, Tbilisi,Georgia

Specialists from the United States are involved in a search and recovery of two Georgian soldiers who went missing yesterday after a deep sea training dive.

At the request of the Government of Georgia, the United States (US) forces assigned to Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) are involved in the search for the soldiers.

The Turkish Coast Guard was also involved in the search-rescue-recovery operation today after Georgia’s Minister of Defence Levan Izoria met with Turkish defence officials and asked for their assistance. 

The two missing soldiers are Corporal Iago Sharadze and First Class Private Giorgi Nanetashvili of the Special Operation Forces.

The pair were undergoing mandatory diving training within the scheduled maritime special course in the Black Sea, at Georgia’s western Gonio coastal area, when they failed to surface after a planned dive. 

The training exercise took place yesterday morning. Rescue experts initially carried out a search for the missing divers but this has since turned into a recovery operation, as it is unlikely the pair survived the incident.

Meanwhile President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili travelled to Batumi this afternoon to learn about the situation and offer support.  

This is a hard time for each and every soldier and I want to express my sympathy to you,” Margvelashvili said.  

Top officials from Georgia’s Military Police and the General Inspection Departments are also on site and offering support to soldiers at the scene. 

Georgia’s Defence Minister has assumed full control of the case.

The Military Police Department has launched an investigation into what went wrong and why.