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Marines call off search for 8 missing military members after training accident

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Posted at 4:33 PM, Aug 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-02 19:18:01-04

The U.S. Marines on Sunday called off the search for seven missing Marines and one Navy sailor who were missing after a vessel sank off the California coast on Thursday night. All eight are presumed dead.

The amphibious assault vehicle, known as an AAV, carries Marines from ship to ship. The AAV was carrying 15 Marines and one sailor when it was transferring the sailors from the shores of San Clemente Island near San Diego to a Navy ship when it began to sink.

Eight Marines were rescued after the accident, and one later died. Two are in critical condition.

The Marines were attached to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, based at Camp Pendleton.

A Marine officer told CBS News' David Martin on Friday that this could be the worst AAV training accident ever. The Marines have suspended airborne operations of the more than 800 AAVs until the cause of accident is determined. The investigation is ongoing.