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Grand Junction Navy SEAL skydiver killed after parachute fails to open

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- The Navy said Monday the weekend death of a member of its skydiving team was because of "an equipment malfunction, though the specific nature and cause is currently unknown."

The Navy identified the jumper as Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Remington J. Peters, of Grand Junction. Peters, 27, was a veteran of two combat tours and had performed more than 900 jumps, the Navy said in a statement.

The team, known as the Leap Frogs, was conducting a coordinated jump into Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J., as part of planned Fleet Week activities for New York Harbor, Rear Admiral John C. "Jack" Scorby Jr. said at a news briefing.

The parachute of the team member, a Navy SEAL, failed to open properly and he landed in the Hudson River, the Navy said.

"An investigation into the accident is already underway." the statement said.

Coast Guard personnel retrieved the parachutist and the Jersey City Fire Department Marine Unit took him to Jersey City Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 1:10 p.m. ET, Scorby said.

"Our hearts and our prayers go out to his family and I ask for all of your prayers for the Navy SEAL community who lost a true patriot today," Scorby said. "The cause of the mishap is under investigation and his next of kin are being notified at this time."

"Considering I have a son in the military ... somebody's got to report that back to their family, and it's horrible," spectator Juan Marin told WCBS.

Fleet Week is an annual weeklong celebration during which people in the New York area can meet "Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, as well as witness firsthand the latest capabilities of today's maritime services," according to the Fleet Week webpage.