One Marine Dead, Eight Missing in Amphibious Vehicle Accident

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On Thursday, one Marine died and eight went missing in an accident involving an amphibious assault vehicle off the coast of Southern California. Two others were transported to local hospitals, including one individual in critical condition. 

On Thursday, the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit was conducting an exercise with the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group off San Clemente Island. At about 1745 hours, the Marines aboard the AAV reported that it was taking on water. 

16 servicemembers were inside the AAV at the time of the accident, and seven survivors were rescued in total. Search and rescue efforts for the eight missing individuals continued Friday. 

The destroyer USS John Finn, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Forrest Rednour, four helicopters and multiple small boats from the amphibs USS Makin Island, USS Somerset and USS San Diego are involved in the search.

The name of the deceased Marine will be withheld until after the next of kin have been notified. The cause of the incident is under investigation. 

The Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) has been in service with the Marine Corps since 1972, and it has undergone a long series of upgrades and life-extension overhauls over the years. It will be gradually replaced by BAE’s wheeled Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) design. 

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