Search ends for seven Marines and one sailor in training accident off California coast, group presumed dead

Per the Marine Expeditionary Force:

“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.”

CNN reports Seven missing Marines and one sailor are feared dead after a training accident with an amphibious assault vehicle off the coast of Southern California.

The effort to find them has concluded after an extensive 40-hour search following the incident Thursday, the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force said. Officials determined there was little probability of a successful outcome.

“It is with a heavy heart, that I decided to conclude the search and rescue effort,” said Col. Christopher Bronzi, a commanding officer.

Per Fox News, the mishap occurred Thursday off San Clemente Island, where 15 Marines and one sailor were riding in an amphibious assault vehicle.

At one point, the vehicle started taking on water. Eight of the 16 service members were initially rescued while eight went missing.

Of the Marines rescued, one later died and two were hospitalized in critical condition, the Marine Corp statement said.

The circumstances surrounding the accident are under investigation.

At Camp Pendleton in San Diego, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger ordered an immediate suspension of amphibious assault vehicles (AAVs) from training at sea.

The names of the missing Marines and the sailor will be released 24 hours after family members are notified, the Marine Corps statement said.