(April 4, 2014) A 20-year-old midshipman died March 29 of injuries suffered while skateboarding at Assateague Island National Seashore a week earlier.
Midshipman Third Class Hans Loewen of Hampstead, N.C., was camping at Assateague with other midshipmen when he was injured. Local emergency medical personnel treated him at the scene before he was taken to Shock Trauma in Baltimore.
Loewen liked extreme sports and according to www.caringbridge.org/-visit/hasloewen, he was a kitesurfer, a rock climber, an extreme downhill longboarder, a surfer, a paddleboarder, a unicyclist, a drummer, a reader, a comedian and a loving and perfect son.
“He researches each of passions with passion and when he engages in it he does it with calculated intensity. On Saturday, March 22, Hans miscalculated a bit as he was engaging in one of his many extreme sports and suffered a devastating brain injury, despite wearing his helmet, after skateboarding beside a slowly moving vehicle and falling beneath its rear wheel,” his family said on the Caring Bridge Web site.
According to the U.S. Navy Academy’s Facebook page, his family was at his bedside, supported by friends, midshipmen and Naval Academy leadership, while he was in a coma.
“My wife, Barbara, and I join the Brigade, staff and faculty in mourning the loss of Midshipman Hans Loewen,” Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Admiral Michael Miller said in a released statement. “Hans was a vibrant midshipmen who lives his life to the fullest, and that spirit will be forever imprinted on his classmates and the Naval Academy. As we celebrate Hans’ courage and commitment, we also come together in support for his family and friends, and all who were touched by his presence. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the Loewens, and our extended USNA family, during this very difficult time.”
Loewen was an oceanography major in 7th Company at the academy. His extracurricular activities included the Adventure Racing Team, the American Nuclear Society and the Rock Climbing Club.