One Marine dead and 8 missing after amphibious assault vehicle accident

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

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

A Marine with a Camp Pendleton-based unit died and a search is underway for eight others from that group following a training accident off the coast of San Clemente Island, U.S. Marine officials said.

Two Marines who were rescued were injured, with one hospitalized in critical condition and the other in stable condition, a Marine Corps statement said.

Search-and-rescue efforts were continuing Friday morning with support from the Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, according to the Marines.

The Coast Guard cutter, four warships and four helicopters continued their search for more than 10 hours, but so far the Marines have not been found.

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

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The incident began around 5:45 p.m. local time on Thursday when Marines in an amphibious assault vehicle, or AAV, reported they were taking on water.

All of the members involved are assigned to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which is based at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in San Diego County.

San Clemente Island is about 70 miles west of San Diego and hosts communications equipment overseen by the Navy for managing air space, ranges and operating areas, according to the official website for Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility, San Diego.

The Marine who died was pronounced dead at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, according to a statement from the I Marine Expeditionary Force.

The name of Marine killed in the accident has not yet been released. "They've been in use by the Marines since the early 1970s and are currently set to be replaced by the amphibious combat vehicle, now in development".

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