High-ranking Navy officer drowns during popular Windward Oahu bi - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

High-ranking Navy officer drowns during popular Windward Oahu biathlon

Erik Sweet, 44 Erik Sweet, 44
KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The man who died on Sunday at Kailua Beach was doing a popular Windward Oahu biathlon.

The 44-year-old was a high-ranking Navy officer. And at his side, his wife, the commander of a Navy warship.

Linda Seymour and Erik Sweet had traveled the world together, but their favorite place to be, Seymour says, was together.

They were together Sunday at the Kailua Dash & Splash Biathlon.

"We normally run together but we didn't because I'd been training more than he did and he didn't want to hold me up. So he would have been mad at me if I stayed back. So I gave him a big kiss before we started," said Seymour.

The Kailua Dash & Splash Biathlon is a 2.8-mile run around Lanikai Loop and an 800-meter swim through Kailua Beach which ends at Kalapawai.

Seymour finished the race then heard the sirens. Sweet was pulled from the water and taken into an ambulance. Seymour jumped in.

"The doctor said, 'we're close here.” And so he gave me the opportunity to talk to him and talk in his ear and kiss him...and I talked to him the whole way in the ambulance and I thought if he could just hear me, if he just knows that I didn't leave him...because we were true loves," Seymour said crying.

After 45 minutes of CPR, her husband was pronounced dead.

"He always said he was always just gonna live like every day would be his last," Seymour said.

Sweet is a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy and after 25 years of service, he was set to retire on Friday.

"He would light up a room and he knew how to work the room and he just always made sure that everybody was having a good time," said Seymour.

Seymour is the Commanding Officer of the USS Halsey warship at Pearl Harbor.

She said her husband always told her he would die young and she's heartbroken that he was right.

"There's probably 15 people who would say that Erik Sweet is their best friend. And then he would always tell me, 'Well you know who my best friend.' And I said, 'Who?' And he said, 'You.'"

The Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office says Sweet died from drowning.

Seymour says there will be a Celebration of Life both in Washington and in Hawaii.

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