Search ends for seven Marines, dreaded sailor dead off California coast

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The effort to find them came to an end after a 40-hour long search after Thursday’s incident, the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force said. Officials determined that there was little chance of success.

“It was with a heavy heart that I decided to conclude the search and rescue effort,” said Col. Christopher Bronzi, a commanding officer.

Sixteen people were in the vehicle as of Thursday when they reported taking water near San Clemente Island, officials said.

In addition to the eight service members missing, at least one Marine was pronounced dead and two others injured that day, the Marines said at the time.

Five more returned to their ship, said General David Berger, commander of the US Marine Corps.”I ordered an immediate suspension of the water operations of the amphibious assault vehicles until the causal factors of this accident are better understood,” said Berger.

The incident occurred during a 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group routine training exercise.

The amphibious assault vehicle weighs around 26 tons and is said to have sunk to the bottom of the ocean, hundreds of feet deep at this location. The AAV is below the depths that divers can go to, so the Navy has helped and provided resources to descend and take a look at the ship.

The Marines who were rescued were wearing normal combat gear, including bulletproof vests and an inflatable vest. Some have been found floating in the ocean.

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