Minnesota Marine dies swimming while stationed in Okinawa, Japan

He and three other Marines reportedly became caught in a rip current.
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A Marine from Minnesota has died after being caught in a rip current off the coast of Japan.

Lance Corporal Eric John Niss-De Jesus, an active duty member of the U.S. Marines, had gone swimming off the Okinawa coast with three fellow service members on June 6, according to a Go Fund Me page.

The four Marines became caught in a rip current while in the water off Odo Beach. Three made it back to shore, but Niss-de Jesus did not. His disappearance sparked an immediate search, with rescue teams combing the area. 

On Wednesday, his family received the heartbreaking news that rescue teams had recovered a body, believed to be Niss-De Jesus.

"It is not the outcome that we wanted so badly but we are still rejoicing in God for finding our Eric Niss and that he is coming home," reads a post on the Facebook page of his mother, Jessica Blom. "Our hearts are aching but we praise God for the answered prayers. He could be state side as soon as tomorrow and as much of his family that can be there, will be there, ready to meet him and bring him home."

Niss-de Jesus graduated from Mt. Lake Public High School in Mountain Lake, Minnesota, in 2015, according to the local paper, the Observer/Advocate. He went on to the University of Minnesota, graduating in 2019 and enlisting in the Marines, where he was then stationed in Okinawa.

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While the U.S. Marine Corps is said to be paying for his mother's flight, the Go Fund Me organizer is hoping to cover additional expenses as a result of her stay.

"Thank you for all of your love and prayers. Eric was incredibly loved and we have felt it from each of you. God has blessed us with a community that knows exactly how to lift up and support each other. We will share our plans when we have more information," Blom's post concludes.

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