A shipbuilding worker with nearly four decades' worth of experience fell to his death yesterday while working on the aircraft carrier USS George Washington.

News sources say Tim Ewing, a construction supervisor who’d worked for Newport News Shipbuilding for 39 years, may have fallen while working in a tank.

A spokesperson for the company said U.S. Navy rescue and response personnel had attempted to rescue Ewing, but were unsuccessful in their effort.

OSHA is investigating the fatality.

Newport News Shipbuilding President Jennifer Boykin said shipyard flags would be flown at half-mast for the rest of the week and that at 11 a.m. on Friday, August 23, the shipyard whistle will sound for 39 seconds in recognition of Ewing's years of service to the company.

The USS George Washington Spirit of Freedom aircraft carrier is a Nimitz class vessel, about a thousand feet long, 97,000 tons and able to carry 60 or more aircraft, according to the U.S. Navy. The aircraft carrier was in the middle of a refueling and complex overhaul, which is a four-year-long process includes repairs, upgrades and modernization.