U.S. Navy: Diver in scuba gear spotted off largest base

NORFOLK, Va. — Officials say a scuba diver appears to have breached a barrier at the country’s largest naval base and they have stepped up security as a result.

Navy spokeswoman Kelly Wirfel said several sailors on watch at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia briefly saw the person Monday in the water near the secured piers.

A security gate sits in the water surrounding the base and its 14 piers. Wirfel says security teams are looking for the person while restricting access to and from the piers.

NORFOLK, VA – APRIL 14: In this handout photo provided by the U.S. Navy, The future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) arrives at Naval Station Norfolk and approaches its berth next to the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), left, and USS George Washington (CVN 73) after returning from Builder’s Sea Trials and seven days underway. During this initial at-sea period, Ford’s crew, representatives from Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding, the Navy’s CVN 78 Program Office, the Navy’s Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair and various technical subject matter experts demonstrated many of the ship’s key systems. Primary risk reduction objectives were successfully met, and, as is typical with sea trials, the Navy and shipbuilder learned a great deal about the ship’s performance during the extensive testing. Analysis continues, and any identified corrective actions will be addressed. CVN 78 remains on track to conduct Acceptance Trials and delivery to the Navy this spring. (Photo by Ridge Leoni/US NAvy via Getty Images)

Nearly 60 ships are based at the base, including the fleet’s newest and most technologically advanced aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford.

The carrier returned to its pier recently after successfully testing new equipment that launches and lands jet fighters.