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Eight Missing Troops Presumed Dead After Search Called Off

It is never easy to swallow the loss of our troops, but it is even more painful when that loss occurs during a training exercise.

This weekend, a “training mishap” resulted in the accidental sinking of an amphibious assault vehicle that was carrying 15 Marines and a sailor.

During the mishap, eight of the troops went missing, and are now presumed dead after search and rescue efforts were called off on Sunday.

The Accident

The assault vehicle was part of a fleet of 13 amphibious assault crafts that were training near San Clemente Island.

After the vehicle went under, eight Marines were eventually rescued, but one of those troops died at the hospital as well as two more remaining in critical condition.

According to the report, the troops had completed their training exercise and were heading back to the island when the vehicle started to take on water.

Marines in the other vehicles tried to help, but everything happened so fast that they were unable to get to everyone.

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Calling Off the Search

Ending a search is never an easy call, but after 40 hours, it was unlikely the soldiers could have survived.

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Due to the fact the water where the vehicle sank was hundreds of feet deep, divers could not reach it.

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

“The steadfast dedication of the Marines, Sailors, and Coast Guardsmen to the persistent rescue effort was tremendous.”

The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit also made an announcement via its Twitter account…

This is a huge loss and just shows just how much our troops put on the line every day to protect our Republic.

Rest in peace and our thoughts are with the families of those that gave their lives for our freedoms.

Source: The Blaze

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