July 31, 2020 - 5:40 am
Updated July 31, 2020 - 8:50 am
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — One Marine has died, two are injured and eight others were missing after an amphibious assault vehicle accident off the coast of Southern California, the Marines said early Friday.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident. I ask that you keep our Marines, Sailors, and their families in your prayers as we continue our search,” said Col. Christopher Bronzi, 15th MEU Commanding Officer.
— I MEF (@1stMEF) July 31, 2020
The accident happened Thursday and search and rescue efforts were underway Friday morning with support from the Navy and Coast Guard, the Marines said in a tweet. All of the Marines involved were assigned to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
About 5:45 p.m., Marines in the AAV reported taking on water, a news release said.
The incident occurred during a 15th MEU and Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group routine training exercise in the vicinity of San Clemente Island.
Assisting in the search efforts were the USS John Finn, three U.S. Navy MH-60 helicopters and multiple small boats from the USS Makin Island, USS Somerset, and USS San Diego, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Forrest Rednour and a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Sector San Diego.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident. I ask that you keep our Marines, Sailors, and their families in your prayers as we continue our search,” Col. Christopher Bronzi, the unit’s commanding officer, said in another tweet from the Marines.
The Marine Expeditionary Force is the Marine Corps’ main warfighting organization. There are three such groups which are made up of ground, air and logistics forces.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.