Sgt. Tyler Rankin, 24, disappeared Thursday and was declared deceased on Sunday after the Japanese Coast Guard found his remains, according to Marine Aircraft Group 12 spokesman Capt. Marco Valenzuela. The Japanese Coast Guard and local authorities had responded immediately after Rankin went missing, he said.
Rankin, originally from Kansas City, Missouri, was one of approximately 20 people from Iwakuni at the beach that Thursday, and was trying to save two other men who had been swept offshore when he went missing, according to Stars and Stripes. The Marine Corps did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Marine Corps Times.
Valenzuela said Rankin was a fixed wing aircraft mechanic with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152, Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. Since joining the Marine Corps in 2014, Rankin had earned awards including the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
“VMGR-152 “Sumos” mourn the loss of their brother at arms, Sergeant Tyler Rankin,” Lt. Col. Christopher Kocab, commanding officer of Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152, said in a statement Tuesday. “Sergeant Rankin was a true leader within the squadron, a subject matter expert within his field, and a great friend to many. We send our heartfelt condolences to all of Tyler’s family and close friends and will never forget the impact he left on all of us.”