Thursday, September 24, 2020

US calls off search for seven marines and sailor missing at sea

The US military has called off a search for seven marines and a sailor missing at sea for days, saying they were presumed dead.

The military personnel were aboard an amphibious assault vehicle that sank on Thursday in deep water off the coast of southern California during a training exercise.

During the 40-hour search, marine, navy and coastguard helicopters, ships and watercraft searched more than 1,000 square nautical miles, the marines said in a statement.

“It is with a heavy heart that I decided to conclude the search and rescue effort,” said Colonel Christopher Bronzi, commander of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

A total of 16 service members were on the amphibious vehicle. Eight had been rescued but one later died. Two others remain in critical condition.

All the marines involved were assigned to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which is based at Camp Pendleton.

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