An amphibious assault vehicle carrying 15 Marines and a Navy sailor sank near a military-owned island off the coast of Southern California, leaving one of the Marines dead and eight missing, authorities said Friday.
The incident involved an assault amphibious vehicle, according to the 1 Marine Expeditionary Force. "Search and rescue efforts are still underway with support from the Navy and Coast Guard". "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 a statement.
Fifteen Marines and one sailor were inside the vehicle at the time of the incident, and eight people have been recovered. It is often referred to as an "Amtrac". They were part of a routine training exercise with the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group when the accident occurred.
And in 2011, a Marine died when an amphibious assault vehicle in a training exercise sank off the shores of Camp Pendleton. Two others were injured and taken to hospitals where they were listed in critical and stable condition, respectively. According to images posted online by 15th MEU, Marines from Battalion Landing Team 1/4 embarked onto the ships Saturday to conduct "training to increase Navy-Marine Corps interoperability in the eastern Pacific".
The I Marine Expeditionary Force said in a tweet: '1 Marine has died, 8 service members remain missing and 2 were injured after an AAV [Assault Amphibious Vehicle] mishap July 30 off the coast of Southern California.
The name of the deceased Marine is being withheld for 24 hours so that the family can be informed, NBC News reported. Upon leaving a ship, the vehicle, which resembles a tank, will drop below the surface of the water before popping back up.