NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTIC and AP) – A submarine commander is praising the way his crew responded when a sailor intentionally shot himself aboard the Groton, Connecticut-based vessel.

The USS North Dakota was about 170 miles from the base on Jan. 12 when the petty officer shot himself in the shoulder with a government-issued rifle.

The Day of New London reports the sailor was in an ambulance in New London within about seven hours.

The submarine’s skipper said in a Facebook post the crew acted heroically to treat the sailor and transfer him from the cramped sub to a tug boat at sea at night. The newspaper reported the post has since been deleted.

The sailor has been recovering from surgery at a New Haven hospital.

The newspaper says five submariners took their own lives in 2017.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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