California amphibious vehicle accident: USA marine dead, eight missing

Camp Pendleton-Marine dies, others in unit missing in training accident off San Clemente Island

One U.S. Marine has died and eight others are missing following a "mishap" involving an amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) during a routine training exercise off the Southern California coast.

The Marine who died was pronounced dead at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, according to a statement from the I Marine Expeditionary Force. "Search and rescue efforts are still underway with support from the Navy and Coast Guard".

Col Christopher Bronzi, commanding officer of the 15th MEU, said in the tweet: "We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident".

The vehicle took on water at around 5.45pm while 15 Marines and one sailor were inside near San Clemente Island in Los Angeles County. It is often referred to as an "Amtrac".

The accident occurred near the island of San Clemente, Business Insider reported.


The USS San Diego and USS Somerset, amphibious transport dock ships that carry assault amphibious vehicles in the well deck, are part of the search.

Two other service members were injured in the incident, officials said in a Twitter message.

In 2017, 14 Marines and one Navy sailor were hospitalized after their amphibious assault vehicle hit a natural gas line, igniting a fire that engulfed the landing craft during a training exercise at Camp Pendleton, the sprawling coastal Marine Corps base north of San Diego.

The name of the Marine killed will be withheld until 24 hours after next of kin have been notified. 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".

According to the Marines website, the Expeditionary Force is a "combined arms force consisting of ground, air and logistic forces".

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