A massive search and rescue operation for seven Marines and a Navy sailor who went missing after a training accident off the California coast has been halted and all are presumed dead, authorities said Sunday.
Fifteen Marines and the sailor were participating in a routine training exercise off the coast of San Clemente Island on Thursday when their amphibious assault vehicle began taking on water and sank. Eight Marines were pulled from the water – one died and two others remained hospitalized in critical condition Sunday, the Marines said in a statement.
Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard helicopters and ships searched more than I,000 square nautical miles for 40 hours. Search team commanders ultimately determined there was little probability of a successful rescue given the circumstances of the incident, the statement said.