This is a sad day for our military family.
Following a routine training exercise in the vicinity of San Clemente Island, at least one US Marine is dead and eight others are missing. Additionally, there are two service members who were injured in the accident. They have been transported to Southern California hospitals. One is in critical condition and the other is stable, according to the Marines.
San Clemente Island is the southernmost of the Channel Islands of California. It is owned and operated by the United States Navy, and is a part of Los Angeles County.
According to a press release by the I Marine Expeditionary Force, there was an AAV mishap on July 30. All the Marines were assigned to the 15th MEU. Search and rescue efforts are still underway with support from the Navy and Coast Guard.
“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.
Assault Amphibious Vehicles, or AAVs, are the current amphibious troop transport of the United States Marine Corps.
At approximately 5:45 p.m. PST, Marines in the AAV reported taking on water. There were fifteen Marines and a sailor were aboard the AAV, assigned to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, as it was operating near San Clemente Island when the incident occurred.
According to USNI News , the guided-missile destroyer USS John Finn (DDG-113), amphibious warships USS Makin Island (LHD-8), USS Somerset (LPD-25) and USS San Diego LPD-22 and Coast Guard Cutter USCGC Forrest Rednour (WPC-1129) are searching for the missing service members. Additionally, three Navy MH-60 helicopters, a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk, and small boats embarked from Makin Island are part of the search.
The name of the Marine killed will be withheld until 24 hours after next of kin have been notified. The incident is under investigation.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.