In this file photo, USS Stethem (DDG 63) returns to Yokosuka, Japan, in November. (U.S. Navy/MC1 Peter Burghart)

SOUTH CHINA SEA - U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships and aircraft are searching for a Sailor from USS Stethem (DDG 63) reported missing while the ship was conducting routine operations in the South China Sea, Aug. 1.

Stethem reported a man overboard at about 9 a.m. local. Multiple searches were conducted inside the ship, but were unable to locate the Sailor.

USS Stethem, USNS Amelia Earhart, USNS Vice Admiral K. R. Wheeler and a U.S. Navy P-3 aircraft are assisting in the search.

In addition, JMSDF ships JS Izumo and JS Sazanami are searching the area along with helicopters from Izumo.

The Joint Personnel Recovery Center Hawaii is also assisting with this search.

The Sailor’s name is being withheld while the search is ongoing.