Sunken Military Vehicle, Human Remains Found

9 service members died when amphibious assault vehicle sank off California coast
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2020 9:06 AM CDT
Navy Finds Sunken Vehicle After Training Tragedy
This photo provided by the Navy shows a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) being lowered into the ocean off the coast of Southern California on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020.   (Lt. Curtis Khol/U.S. Navy via AP)

The military has found the sunken amphibious assault vehicle that sank off the coast of California in a training accident that took the lives of nine service members. The Navy located the vehicle in about 385 feet of water less than a mile from San Clemente Island off the coast of San Diego, reports CNN. A remotely operated vehicle located the AAV and detected human remains inside, per a tweet from the military. Next comes the effort to recover the 26-ton vehicle from the ocean floor, which could help the Pentagon understand what went wrong.

Crew members reported taking on water during the "shore-to-ship" exercise in which eight Marines and one Navy sailor lost their lives, per NBC News. An AAV is like a "seafaring tank," explains the AP, and it's typically used to transport Marines and equipment from ships to shore. The vehicle is made to be buoyant with water-tight hatches. Stars and Stripes has details on the victims, one of whom just became a new father. Another just had his 19th birthday. Their identities:

  • Pfc. Bryan J. Baltierra, 19, of Corona, Calif.
  • Lance Cpl. Marco A. Barranco, 21, of Montebello, Calif.
  • Pfc. Evan A. Bath, 19, of Oak Creek, Wis.
  • US Navy Hospitalman Christopher Gnem, 22, of Stockton, Calif.
  • Pfc. Jack Ryan Ostrovsky, 21, of Bend, Ore.
  • Lance Cpl. Guillermo S. Perez, 20, of New Braunfels, Texas
  • Cpl. Wesley A. Rodd, 23, of Harris, Texas
  • Lance Cpl. Chase D. Sweetwood, 19, of Portland, Ore.
  • Cpl. Cesar A. Villanueva, 21, of Riverside, Calif.
(Read more Marines stories.)

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