04/22/2014 04:34 EDT | Updated 06/22/2014 05:59 EDT

Canadian sailor dies under mysterious circumstances in Tanzanian hospital

OTTAWA - A Canadian sailor on his way home for leave has died in hospital in Tanzania.

The crewman belonged to HMCS Regina, currently patrolling the Indian Ocean as part of a multinational task force combating terrorism and pirates in the region.

A release from National Defence did not identify the man, nor state his age, but said the circumstances surrounding the death are unclear.

The family has asked that the name not be released, although it's known the crew member was based at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, B.C., the navy's main station on the West Coast.

Military police have been in touch authorities in the East African country and will be investigating.

Cmdr. Daniel Charlebois, skipper of the Regina, said a statement the sailor was well liked and respected by his peers.