Search stretches on for eight lacking after Marine craft sinks

San Diego (US), August 1

Helicopters and boats starting from inflatables to a Navy destroyer have been headed right into a Saturday seek for eight individuals lacking after their Marine touchdown craft went down in a whole lot of toes of water off the Southern California coast.

“Literally every asset we have available” was looking for seven Marines and a Navy corpsman, Lt Gen Joseph Osterman, commander of the first Marine Expeditionary Force, mentioned Friday.

They have been aboard an amphibious assault automobile that was heading again to a Navy ship on Thursday night after a routine coaching train when it started taking up water a couple of half-mile (0.eight kilometres) from Navy-owned San Clemente Island, off of San Diego.

Other assault autos shortly responded however couldn’t cease the 26-ton, tank-like automobile from shortly sinking, Osterman mentioned.

“The assumption is that it went completely to the bottom” a number of hundred toes under, Osterman mentioned. That was too deep for divers to succeed in and the Navy and Coast Guard have been discussing methods to succeed in the sunken automobile to get a view inside it, Osterman mentioned.

Eight Marines have been rescued from the water however one later died and two remained in secure situation at a hospital, authorities mentioned.

“All Marines were attached to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, based at nearby Camp Pendleton. They ranged in age from 19 to early 30s and all were wearing combat gear, including body armour and flotation vests,” Osterman mentioned.

The automobile, often known as an AAV however nicknamed an “amtrac”, for “amphibious tractor” is used to take Marines and their gear from Navy ships to land.

The sunken craft, one among 13 concerned within the train, was designed to be naturally buoyant and had three water-tight hatches and two giant troop hatches, Osterman mentioned.

The autos have been used since 1972 and frequently refurbished. Marine Corps officers mentioned Friday they didn’t know the age or different particulars of the one which sank.

The Marine Corps commandant, Gen David Berger, suspended waterborne operations of greater than 800 amphibious assault autos throughout the department till the reason for the accident is decided. He mentioned the transfer was out of “an abundance of caution.”

The accident marks the third time in recent times that Camp Pendleton Marines have been injured or died in amphibious assault autos throughout coaching workouts.

In 2017, 14 Marines and one Navy sailor have been hospitalised after their automobile hit a pure fuel line, igniting a hearth that engulfed the touchdown craft at Camp Pendleton.

In 2011, a Marine died when an amphibious assault automobile in a coaching train sank offshore of the camp. (AP)

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