Monday, April 15, 2024

Shipyard employee dies on USS George Washington, shipyard president says

John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) at Newport News Shipbuilding (WYDaily Photo/ Courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries)
(WYDaily Photo/ Courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries)

NEWPORT NEWS — A shipyard employee died at the Newport News Shipyard Monday while working on an aircraft carrier.

“I have some very sad news to share,” Jennifer Boykin, president of the shipyard, wrote in a letter to employees Monday. “This afternoon, we lost one of our fellow shipbuilders.”

On Tuesday, Boykin identified the employee as Tim Ewing. He was 58 years old.

Boykin said Ewing was a construction supervisor with 39 years of shipyard service — he was killed while working on the USS George Washington (CVN 73).

“We believe he fell while working in a tank, but we are still very early into the investigation,” Boykin said. See the Facebook post below.

Rescue and response teams from the shipyard as well as the U.S. Navy failed to recover the man’s body. The city helped the shipyard company in recovery efforts although it’s unclear clear how the city helped and if the Ewing’s body was recovered as of Tuesday.

“As we reflect on this tremendous loss, I have asked that our shipyard flags be flown at half-mast throughout the rest of the week,” Boykin wrote on a Facebook post Tuesday. “In recognition of Tim’s 39 years of distinguished service to our company, and his dedication to Newport News Boy Scout Troop 11, we will also sound the shipyard whistle at 11 a.m. on Friday, August 23, for 39 seconds.”

The complete overhaul of the aircraft carrier is one of several projects the shipyard, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, is currently working on.

Duane Bourne, spokesman for the shipyard, was not immediately available for comment. WYDaily was unable to leave a voicemail on his cellphone since the mailbox was full.

This is the second workplace incident in 8 months at the shipyard. On Dec. 13 a man fell on the job and died three weeks later from his injuries at the hospital.

Boykin said OSHA is also investigating the incident.

RELATED STORY: Remember the shipyard worker who was hurt on the job and died weeks later? Here’s what OSHA found

Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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