The remains of seven Marines and a sailor have been recovered from the wreck of an amphibious assault vehicle that sank July 30 during a routine training exercise off the coast of California’s San Clemente Island.
US Marine Corps officials said the remains, recovered Friday, will be transferred to Dover Air Base in Delaware to be prepared for burial, then released to their families, CNN reported.
“Our hearts and thoughts of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit are with the families of our recovered Marines and Sailor,” Col. Christopher Bronzi, commanding officer of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, said. “We hope the successful recovery of our fallen warriors brings some measure of comfort.”
Sixteen people were aboard the amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) when it began taking on water during routine shore-to-ship operations training, according to CNN. Five of the crew were rescued as the AAV sank, and returned to their ship, the USS Somerset.
Two Marines were hospitalized and Lance Cpl. Guillermo S. Perez, 19, of New Braunfels, Texas, was pronounced dead at the scene. His remains were transferred to Dover Air Force Base last Wednesday.
A search and rescue effort to locate the eight missing personnel was concluded after two days. The sunken vehicle was located Monday.
The cause of the incident is still under investigation.