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The two U.S. Navy sailors who were reported missing after falling into the sea while conducting a nighttime boarding mission Thursday off the coast of Somalia have been identified as SEALs, according to the U.S. Central Command.

The two special forces operators were climbing aboard a vessel while on a mission in the Gulf of Aden when high waves knocked one into the sea.

The second SEAL jumped in after the first as part of Navy SEAL protocol to help a partner in distress and both vanished, the Associated Press said.

Both SEALs are still missing and a search and rescue mission continues.

2 US NAVY SAILORS MISSING OFF COAST OF SOMALIA: CENTRAL COMMAND

A plane comes in to land over a secured beach area near the runway of Aden Adde International Airport on Sept. 4, 2022, in Mogadishu, Somalia. (Ed Ram/Getty Images)

The waters in the Gulf of Aden in which they were operating are warm, U.S. officials told the AP.

Officials also told the AP that the incident was not related to Operation Prosperity Guardian, the ongoing U.S. and international mission to provide protection to commercial vessels in the Red Sea, or the retaliatory strikes that the United States and the United Kingdom have conducted in Yemen over the past few days.

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Somali maritime police

Somali maritime police patrol the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Puntland State, Somalia, on Nov. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Jackson Njehia)

The incident was also not related to Iran seizing an oil tanker, officials said.

The details of the SEALs’ mission and which vessel they were trying to board are still unclear.

In a statement on Saturday, U.S. Central Command said it will not release additional information on the Thursday night incident until the personnel recovery mission is complete.

Plane parked on the tarmac

An RAF Typhoon is shown at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus on Jan. 12, 2024. U.S. and U.K. forces bombed more than a dozen sites used by the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen. (Sgt. Lee Goddard/UK Ministry of Defense via AP)

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U.S. officials and the Navy did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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