SAN DIEGO — At least one U.S. Marine is dead and eight others are missing after a training accident involving an amphibious vehicle from Camp Pendleton.
A Coast Guard cutter and helicopter from San Diego joined the search and rescue efforts, which started Thursday night and continued through Friday morning.
At least two others were injured in the accident, which occurred Thursday evening, and have been transported to Southern California hospitals, according to a news release from the U.S. Marine Corps 1st Expeditionary Force.
All of the service members in the incident are assigned to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit based out of Camp Pendleton.
The accident occurred during a 15th MEU and Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group routine training exercise in the vicinity of San Clemente Island, off the coast of San Diego, according to the Marines.
Marines in an amphibious assault vehicle, or AAV, reported they were taking on water shortly before 6 p.m. Sixteen people were inside the vehicle at the time of the accident. Eight people have been recovered.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident,” said Col. Christopher Bronzi, the commanding officer of the 15th MEU. “I ask that you keep our Marines, Sailors, and their families in your prayers as we continue our search.”
The Marine killed in the accident was pronounced dead after being rushed to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, officials said. Their name will be withheld until 24 hours after next of kin have been notified.
Investigators did not immediately say what led up to the accident.
Check back for updates on this developing story.