US Navy, partners locate amphibious vehicle lost in military training exercise off San Diego

HOS Dominator (Photo: US Navy/Hornbeck Offshore Services)

The US Navy’s Undersea Rescue Command has positively identified the location of a US Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) that sank in a fatal accident near San Clemente Island off San Diego, California, on July 30.

The navy confirmed that human remains have also been identified through the use of underwater remotely-operated video systems from the merchant vessel HOS Dominator, a ship specialising in undersea search and rescue (SAR).

The navy has expedited the movement of assets to recover the remains of the victims as well as raise the AAV.

The US Marine Corps said the equipment to properly and safely perform the recovery from the sea floor was put in place at the end of last week.

The AAV sank to a depth of approximately 117 metres after taking on water during a shore-to-ship manoeuvre approximately 1,500 metres off the coast of San Clemente Island. One of the AAV’s occupants was pronounced dead at the scene and eight more were subsequently presumed dead on August 2 as search and rescue efforts ceased.

The seven survivors included two who were in critical condition and were rushed to hospital.

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