The bodies of seven Marines and a Navy sailor missing and presumed dead have been recovered, the military said Friday, a week after the amphibious assault vehicle they were in sank during training in California.
Nine U.S. service members in all died in the training accident off San Clemente Island on July 30. In addition to the eight missing, one Marine had also been recovered and pronounced dead after the accident.
“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 in a statement.
“We hope the successful recovery of our fallen warriors brings some measure of comfort,” Bronzi said.
The training accident is under investigation, and Defense Secretary Mark Esper has said that the military is committed to understanding how it occurred and preventing similar tragedies.
Fifteen Marines and a sailor were inside an amphibious assault vehicle when they reported taking on water about 5:45 p.m. July 30, officials have said.
A search was launched for survivors after the accident, but the seven missing Marines and the sailor were presumed dead Sunday.
The amphibious assault vehicle, which was found in 385 feet of water this week, has also been recovered, the Marine Expeditionary Force said.
San Clemente Island is off the Southern California coast west of San Diego.