Cause of Training Fall That Killed SEAL Commander Brian Bourgeois Under Investigation

The cause of a training incident is under investigation after Commander Brian Bourgeois, Navy SEAL commanding officer of Team 8, died from injuries in Virginia.

On Saturday, Bourgeois, 43, was injured while fast-roping down from a helicopter, Naval Special Warfare Command said Wednesday. While at Norfolk Sentara General Hospital, Bourgeois died Monday.

When a helicopter cannot land, SEALs will fast-rope to deploy, the Navy said. Soldiers will swiftly slide down a thick, heavy rope one after the other, according to Insider.

A Navy official said it was unclear whether the rope detached from the aircraft.

"An incident like this weighs heavily on us all," Captain Donald G. Wetherbee, commodore for Naval Special Warfare Group 2, said in a statement, Insider reported. "Brian was as tough as they come, an outstanding leader, and a committed father, husband and friend. This is a great loss to everyone who knew him. He will be greatly missed."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bourgeois family – and we will ensure our community remains in support of and in relationship with Brian's family and his children, for life," Rear Admiral H.W. Howard III, commander, Naval Special Warfare Command, said. "Brian was one of our very best leaders, who possessed all the attributes that make our force effective. We will miss his charismatic leadership and faithful stewardship of our standard. His legacy carries on in teammates he served with, led, and mentored."

The SEAL Team 8 executive officer has assumed command for the time being.

"We are working with SEAL Team 8 to provide every form of support we possibly can to Brian's family and teammates," said Wetherbee.

Training Incident, Brian Bourgeois, Navy SEAL, Investigation
This undated image provided by the U.S. Navy shows Brian Bourgeois, the SEAL commander who died from injuries sustained while training in Virginia. U.S. Navy via AP

WAVY-TV reported that SEAL Team 8 is based in Virginia Beach and has a geographic concentration in the Caribbean, Africa and the Mediterranean.

Bourgeois received his commission from the United States Naval Academy in May 2001. His many awards and decorations over the past two decades included a Bronze Star with valor, according to a Navy statement. The Bronze Star is awarded to members of the Armed Forces for heroic or meritorious achievement or service in a combat zone.

Bourgeois played on the Navy Academy's football team for four years and earned three varsity letters as a safety, according to the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland.

The team plans to honor Bourgeois during the annual Army-Navy game in northern New Jersey on Saturday. The team will run out with a SEAL Team 8 flag along with the traditional American, Navy and Marine Corps flags, the Gazette reported. Senior wide receiver Michael Salisbury and sophomore wide receiver Jayden Umbarger also will wear SEAL Team 8 patches on their uniforms.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Fast-Roping, Navy SEALs, Brian Bourgeois, Death, Investigation
When a helicopter cannot land, SEALs will fast-rope to deploy, the Navy said. In this photo, Navy SEALs fast-rope on the deck of the amphibious command ship USS Mount Whitney during a training exercise January 17, 2003. George R. Kusner/U.S. Navy/Getty Images