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ANNAPOLIS, MD - Tragedy struck the US Naval Academy yesterday after the champion of the Academy swim team was found dead in a five-gallon bucket of water.

Midshipman Jamie Freeman, 22, was unresponsive after being found by other students. While foul play has not been ruled out, medical examiners have determined drowning to be the cause of death, with all signs so far pointing to accidental death.

Local Military Police (MP) took over the crime scene, aided by students of the Naval Academy’s Psychology of Crime and Logic And Critical Thinking classes.  The investigation was soon being handled with the insatiable passion and vigor of the inexperienced.

“Well obviously,” said one aspiring MP Officer, “due to a lack of defensive wounds, we can’t rule out that this was Freeman’s intent. We’ve been sifting through this bucket like a fine-toothed comb looking for human tears, which would indicate a state of depression before his possible suicide.”

“This is no doubt one of the most tragic deaths our academy has suffered,” said Annapolis Superintendent Vice Admiral Michael Miller. “But it also goes to show that we have rules and regulations, such as the battle buddy rule, for good reason. Just because our midshipmen are in school, switching twice daily between advanced buoyancy education and doing keg stands, doesn’t mean they can just walk around doing things without peer supervision. [Freeman] would have known that if he listened to the brief given by the Coalition Of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD).”

Other embarrasing questions arose upon learning that Midshipman Freeman had hoped to eventually receive training to be a Navy Rescue Swimmer. Midshipman Anna Li weighed in, flaunting her critical thinking skills and Academy knowledge.

“Jamie was a star of the swim team and member of the Navigators. All his spare time was spent practicing for all the advanced classes he may need to do once he got accepted into rescue swimmer courses,” said Li. “If he was having trouble in the bucket, couldn’t he just navigate his way out of the water and save himself? It doesn’t add up.”

The incident has spurred a water sports warning pamphlet to be stocked at the US Naval Academy’s Center For Teaching And Learning, which until recently had been under consideration for re-designation as a broom closet.

The brochure style pamphlet warns readers of the hidden dangers of water, and students are advised to avoid all contact with liquid whenenever possible, including showers and drinking fountains, to reduce a variety of incidents plaguing the school, such as death or unmanageable, frizzy hair.

While many mourn Freeman’s death, Annapolis instructor Gary Vederhoff was less than sympathetic. “The worst part is that he hadn’t even put on the blue NWUs yet. I think we need to be honest with ourselves here. If we’re training naval officers here, we should expect more of them. If Freeman couldn’t handle staying alive in a bucket, I think the ocean would have claimed his dainty little life as soon as he stepped foot on the deck of a ship. Maybe sooner.”

Midshipman Freeman is survived by his parents, two younger sisters and the love of his life, Marine Lance Corporal Tina Lowry. The couple had been dating for nine months.