Navy Seal hopeful who died in gruelling underwater training was football star

A young Navy SEAL hopeful who died after a gruelling underwater training session, was a popular football star, his former coach has revealed.

Kyle Mullen, 24, from Manalapan, New Jersey, passed away hours after participating in “Hell Week” training near San Diego, California on Friday, February 4.

Mullen was described as a "great athlete" but an even "better person" by his high school football coach Ed Guerreri from Monmouth County school.

“Everybody loved him,” the coach told USA Today. "[He was] probably one of the best kids I ever had. Great, great kid on the field but even better off the field.”

After wowing staff at Monmouth County school, Mullen went on to play at Yale University and was chosen as second-team All-Ivy League as a defensive lineman, reports New York Post.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to Seaman Mullen’s family for their loss,” Rear Adm. H.W. Howard, commander of the US Navy Special Warfare Command said in a statement.

“We are extending every form of support we can to the Mullen family and Kyle’s … classmates.”

Another candidate was injured during the exercise and was hospitalised at Naval Medical Center. He remains in stable condition at this time.

The US Navy said in a statement: “Two Navy SEAL candidates, assigned to Naval Special Warfare Basic Training Command, were taken to the hospital on Feb. 4 several hours after their Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL (BUD/S) class successfully completed Hell Week, part of the first phase of the Navy SEAL assessment and selection pathway.

“One candidate died at Sharp Coronado Hospital in Coronado, California, on Feb 4. The other candidate is in stable condition at Naval Medical Center San Diego.

“The Sailors were not actively training when they reported symptoms and were transported to receive emergency care. The cause of the candidate’s death is currently unknown and is under investigation.”

Candidates are required to endure an extremely tough 26-week training programme before they can become a Navy SEAL.

The last hopeful to die during training was Seaman James Derek Lovelace, who drowned at the age of 21 in 2016.

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