Remains of Marines, sailor who died in training exercise recovered in California

Remains of Marines, sailor who died in training exercise recovered in California
© US Marine Corps

The remains of the seven Marines and a Navy sailor who were killed during a training accident off the coast of Southern California last week have been recovered, the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force said Friday.

The deceased service members were presumed dead after the amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) they were riding in began to take on water and sink off the coast of San Clemente, Calif., on July 30. Eight Marines were rescued from the accident, though one later died and two others were critically injured.

Initial recovery efforts were unsuccessful, but military officials positively identified the AAV — which was found nearly 400 feet underwater — on Aug. 3, though retrieval of the remains and the vehicle didn't happen until Friday.

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"Our hearts and thoughts of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit are with the families of our recovered Marines and Sailor," Col. Christopher Bronzi, commanding officer of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, said in a statement Friday. "We hope the successful recovery of our fallen warriors brings some measure of comfort."

The 1st Marine Expeditionary Force said that the fallen service members will be transported to Dover Air Force Base Delaware, where they will be prepared for burial.

The cause of the incident remains under investigation.