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Marine Amphibious Vehicle Sinks With 16 On Board; 1 Dead, 8 Missing

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An accident involving an amphibious assault vehicle off the coast of southern California has left one marine dead, two injured and eight missing, the Associated Press reported early Friday.

The accident occurred Thursday evening when the vehicle began taking on water en route to a Navy ship, said Lt. Cameron H. Edinburgh. The Marines involved were part of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, AP reported.

The Marines and Navy led search and rescue efforts Friday with military helicopters and ships approximately 70 miles off the shore of San Diego, according to AP.

Those injured were taken to a nearby hospital. One is in stable condition and one is in critical condition, AP reported. The group was stationed out of Camp Pendleton, according to USA Today.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic accident,” Col. Christopher Bronzi, the unit’s commanding officer, said in a statement. “I ask that you keep our Marines, Sailors, and their families in your prayers as we continue our search.”

The Expeditionary Force is the Marines’ main war-fighting organization, consisting of ground, air and logistical forces, USA Today reported. (RELATED: Russia Sentences Former US Marine To Nine Years In Prison)

The amphibious assault vehicles are often used to transport equipment and troops between Navy ships and land, according to AP.

The accident comes less than a month after a Marine in California survived a self-inflicted gunshot wound after getting into a standoff with police.

The names of the Marines involved in the vehicle accident Thursday have yet to be released, according to the Marine Corps Times.

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