AAV Accident – 1 Marine Dead, 8 Missing off California Coast

 In Military

One Marine is dead, 8 others missing after an AAV accident off the Coast of California. The Amphibious Assault Vehicle was part of a training exercise for the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) near San Clemente Island. There were 15 Marines and 1 sailor aboard the vessel. Some were able to escape, 2 injured, 8 missing, one dead.

The deceased Marine’s name is being withheld for 24 hours. He was airlifted to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla near San Diego, but was pronounced dead. Two injured Marines were taken to local hospitals, one is in critical condition, the other is listed as stable.

AAV Accident

At around 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, the Marines in the AAV reported they were taking on water.  They had been training with the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group.

As of this morning search efforts were still underway.

Military.com reported,

Eight service members who were aboard the AAV remain missing. According to the release, the Navy destroyer John Finn, three Navy MH-60 Seahawk helicopters and small boats from the amphibious ships Makin Island, Somerset and San Diego are participating in the search. The Coast Guard cutter Forrest Rednour and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Sector San Diego are also assisting.

“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, 15th MEU Commanding Officer.

A Marine Corps Amphibious Assault vehicle, or AAV weighs about 30 tons. Used to transport troops from ship to shore, they are lightly armored and run on tracks, and have been an essential part of the Marince Corps since the 1970s. A newer Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) is currently in development.

 

Featured Photo: “An assault amphibious vehicle departs the well deck of amphibious transport dock ship USS San Diego (LPD 22) while conducting the final amphibious assault, during Rim of the Pacific 2016, July 30, 2016. (U.S. Navy photo/Joseph M. Buliavac)”

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