Search for 8 military personnel missing after sinking US Navy boat – National

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The search continued on Saturday to find eight U.S. service members missing after their landing craft collapsed in hundreds of feet of water off the southern California coast in a fatal crash.Helicopters and boats ranging from inflatables to the Navy destroyer were searching an area of ​​around 200 square miles for seven Marines and one Marine Corps member.

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They were in an amphibious assault vehicle that had just completed a training exercise when it began to take on the water about half a mile (0.8 kilometers) from San Clemente Island. belonging to the Navy, off San Diego.

The 26-ton, tank-shaped craft quickly sank in hundreds of feet of water – too deep for divers – making it difficult to reach.

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One of the eight Marines rescued from the water later died.








Several boats destroyed in the fire at the Salmon Arm marina

Several boats destroyed in the fire at the Salmon Arm marina

All of the Marines on board were attached to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, based at Camp Pendleton, north of San Diego. They were 19 in their early 30s and all wore combat gear, including body armor and flotation vests, said Lt. Gen. Joseph Osterman, commanding general of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, earlier this week.

The craft was one of 13 amphibious assault vehicles that participated in the routine exercise and was heading for a Navy ship when the crash occurred.

Troops aboard two other amphibious assault vehicles reacted quickly but were unable to prevent the sinking, Osterman said.

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The vehicle, nicknamed an “amtrac” – short for “amphibious tractor” – was designed to be floating and had three watertight hatches and two large troop hatches. The Marines use the vehicles to transport troops and their equipment from Navy ships to land.

The vehicles have been in use since 1972 and continually refurbished.

On Friday, Marine Corps Commander Gen. David Berger suspended maritime operations of all of its more than 800 amphibious assault vehicles across the branch until the cause of the crash was determined. He said the decision was due to “great caution”.










US Navy ship fire injures at least 57 in California


US Navy ship fire injures at least 57 in California

It was the deadliest of several accidents involving amtracs that occurred during Camp Pendleton’s drills in recent years.

In 2017, 14 Marines and a Navy sailor were hospitalized after their vehicle struck a natural gas line at the camp, causing a fire that engulfed the landing craft.

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And in 2011, a Marine died when an amphibious assault vehicle during a training exercise sank off the camp.

© 2020 The Canadian Press



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