VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - Two agents with the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team died in a training accident off the coast of Virginia Beach Friday.
A Navy spokesperson said the accident happened aboard a Military Sealift Command ship the FBI had leased from them for training purposes. No Navy personnel were involved in the exercise.
The FBI identified the two deceased agents as Special Agent Christopher Lorek, 41, and Special Agent Stephen Shaw, 40. Both were assigned to the FBI's Critical Incident Response Group, which is part of the Hostage Rescue Team .
The Medical Examiner's Office told WAVY.com it could take weeks or even months to determine a cause of death for the two men.
Special Agent Lorek joined the FBI in 1996. He is survived by his wife and two daughters, ages 11 and 8. Special Agent Shaw joined the FBI in 2005 and is survived by his wife, 3-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son.
FBI Director Robert S. Mueller issued the following statement:
"We mourn the loss of two brave and courageous men. Like all who serve on the Hostage Rescue Team, they accept the highest risk each and every day, when training and on operational missions, to keep our nation safe. Our hearts are with their wives, children, and other loved ones who feel their loss most deeply. And they will always be part of the FBI Family."
Special Agents Lorek and Shaw were based in Quantico and were in Hampton Roads this past week for the training.
After the accident, the agents were transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in a helicopter, landing at the hospital's helipad. It is unclear if the hospital knew the helicopter was coming.
A spokesman for Sentara tells WAVY.com it is protocol for helicopters that routinely use the hospital to radio ahead to alert the Emergency Department. Helicopters that are out of jurisdiction may not have the hospital's frequency programmed into its radios. It is unknown exactly what happened when the helicopter landed.
The cause of death of the two agents has not been released.
An investigator with the Norfolk Medical Examiner's Office said Sunday that no information regarding the cause of death would be released until Monday morning at the earliest.
A Coast Guard spokesperson told WAVY.com Sunday there was no Coast Guard involvement in the incident, but the Coast Guard did receive a page about the incident Friday night.
The FBI's Hostage Rescue team was established in 1983 and is considered a top-level counterterrorism unit, and often trains with Navy SEALs.
Stay with WAVY.com for updates on this developing story.
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