Navy, coast guard ships join SAR response to fatal US Marine training mishap

USS John Finn (Photo: US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Randi Brown)

The US Navy and the US Coast Guard have deployed some of their vessels to aid in a massive search and rescue (SAR) operation in the waters off Southern California on Thursday, July 30.

The incident occurred when a US Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) with 16 personnel on board took on water and sank during an exercise off San Clemente Island.

The SAR effort involved the destroyer USS John Finn (pictured), three navy MH-60 helicopters, and multiple small boats from the amphibious ships USS Makin Island, USS Somerset, and USS San Diego, as well as the US Coast Guard fast response cutter (FRC) Forrest Rednour and a coast guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Sector San Diego.

Of the 16 personnel on the AAV, one was found dead while eight others have gone missing and are presumed deceased.

Seven survivors have been pulled out of the water. Two of them are in critical condition at a local hospital.

The search for the eight missing personnel, which covered an area of approximately 3,400 square kilometres, was called off on Sunday, August 2.

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