CAMP PENDLETON (CNS) – A search was underway Friday for eight service members who remain missing following a training accident involving an amphibious assault vehicle near San Clemente Island that killed a Camp Pendleton Marine.
The accident happened around 5:45 p.m. Thursday during a training exercise near San Clemente Island, roughly 78 miles off the coast of San Diego, according to Camp Pendleton officials.
An AAV with 15 Marines and one sailor on board reported taking on water during the exercise. Seven members of the group were rescued and taken to a hospital, but one of them — a Marine whose name was not disclosed — was pronounced dead at Scripps La Jolla Hospital.
One Marine was hospitalized in critical condition and another was in stable condition.
The Navy’s USS John Finn, three Navy helicopters, several smaller Navy vessels, a U.S. Coast Guard ship and a helicopter from Coast Guard Sector San Diego were searching for the eight missing members of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
“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, said in a statement.