(NBC) — One U.S. Marine has died, another is in critical condition and a rescue operation is underway for eight more after a training exercise "mishap" with an amphibious assault vehicle off the coast of Southern California on Thursday.
The deceased Marine, whose name is being withheld for 24 hours so that the family can be informed, was pronounced dead at a hospital in San Diego on Thursday, according to a press release early Friday by the I Marine Expeditionary Force.
The Marine in critical condition and another injured Marine in stable condition were taken to hospitals for treatment.
Fifteen Marines and one sailor were inside the vehicle for the training exercise near San Clemente Island on Thursday, when they reported taking on water at about 5:45 p.m., the release said.
Search-and-rescue efforts were ongoing early Friday to find the eight service members who were missing. The Navy and Coast Guard were assisting in the search.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident. I ask that you keep our Marines, Sailors, and their families in your prayers as we continue our search,” said Col. Christopher Bronzi, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit Commanding Officer, on Twitter.
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. All are assigned to the 15th MEU. Search and rescue efforts are still underway with support from the Navy and Coast Guard.— I MEF (@1stMEF) July 31, 2020
The I Marine Expeditionary Force said it would investigate the incident.