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One Marine dead, eight missing in California assault vehicle accident

One Marine died and eight remain missing after after an amphibious assault vehicle took on water during an exercise Thursday near Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., officials said. Photo by Sgt. Logan Block/U.S. Marine Corps
One Marine died and eight remain missing after after an amphibious assault vehicle took on water during an exercise Thursday near Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., officials said. Photo by Sgt. Logan Block/U.S. Marine Corps

July 31 (UPI) -- A Marine Corps member died and eight are missing after an amphibious assault vehicle took on water in a training exercise in California, officials confirmed Friday morning.

Fifteen Marines and one Navy member were in the AAV when the incident occurred near San Clemente Island, Calif., at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton late Thursday afternoon, officials said.

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Eight people were recovered, two of whom were hospitalized, one in critical condition.

Search and rescue operations involving ships and helicopters continued on Friday for the missing personnel, and the name of the deceased Marine was withheld until family could be notified.

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"1 Marine has died, 8 service members remain missing and 2 were injured after an AAV mishap July 30 off the coast of Southern California," 1 Marine Expeditionary Force said Friday morning on Twitter. "All are assigned to the 15th MEU [15th Marine Expeditionary unit].Search and rescue efforts are still underway with support from the Navy and Coast Guard."

The AAV, a tracked vehicle used to deliver troops from ship to shore, was operating with the Amphibious Ready Group attached to the USS Makin Island in a routine training exercise at the time of the incident.

The vehicle is currently being phased out in favor of a newer version called the amphibious combat vehicle.

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