The 15th MEU said there’s little chance of a successful rescue.
After an extensive 40-hour search, the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), and the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) concluded their search and rescue operation for seven missing Marines and one Sailor, today.
“It is with a heavy heart, that I decided to conclude the search and rescue effort,” said Col. Christopher Bronzi, 15th MEU Commanding Officer. “The steadfast dedication of the Marines, Sailors, and Coast Guardsmen to the persistent rescue effort was tremendous.”
All eight service members are presumed deceased. The 15th MEU and the ARG leadership determined that there was little probability of a successful rescue given the circumstances of the incident.
Rescue efforts had been ongoing sincetheir amphibious assault vehicle sank during a training exercise on Thursday and went missing off the California coastline after
Out of an abundance of caution, the top general of the Marines has ordered a suspension of using AAVs until it’s determine what sank the other craft.
The incident occurred around 5:45 p.m. local time near the northwest part of San Clemente Island, the Navy-owned piece of land 80 miles off the coast of Southern California. The island is used by the Navy and Marine Corps for training.