US military finds amphibious assault vehicle that sank off the coast of California, as well as troops' remains

  • The US military has located the Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicle that sank off the coast of California last week.
  • Additionally, human remains were identified at the site.
  • One Marine was pronounced dead shortly after the incident occurred. Another 7 Marines and one sailor who were initially considered missing have since been pronounced dead.
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The US military has found the Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicle that sank off the coast of California in a deadly incident last week and discovered human remains, the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force said in a statement Tuesday.

The Marines announced last Friday that one Marine was killed and eight service members were missing after the AAV mishap off the coast of Southern California the day before.

In a press conference later that day, Lt. Gen. Joseph Osterman, the I MEF commanding general, told reporters that the AAV was carrying 15 Marines and one Navy sailor when it sank. He said the assumption is that the heavy tracked vehicle "went all the way to the bottom."

On August 2, the Marine Corps said that it was calling off search and rescue operations for the 7 Marines and one sailor who were missing after the accident. It said that the missing were presumed dead.

The sunken AAV was discovered Monday.

Following the discovery of the sunken vehicle, the Marines said Tuesday that it sank to a depth of approximately 385 feet during a shore-to-ship maneuver nearly a mile from San Clemente Island.

The US Navy's Undersea Rescue Command used an underwater remotely-operated video system deployed from the undersea search and rescue ship HOS Dominator to identify human remains.

"The Navy has expedited the movement of assets to recover the remains of the Marines and Sailor, as well as raise the AAV," the Marine Corps said in its statement Tuesday. "The equipment to properly and safely perform the recovery from the sea floor will be in place at the end of this week, and a dignified transfer of our Marines and Sailor will occur as soon as possible after the conclusion of recovery operations."

The oldest of the deceased was 23, and the youngest was 19.

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