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Camp Pendleton Marine Dies Today In Amphibious Assault Vehicle Accident

Amphibious Assault Vehicles
Amphibious Assault Vehicles

A Camp Pendleton Marine trapped inside a sunken amphibious assault vehicle at the Del Mar Boat Basin in the Oceanside Harbor died today during a training exercise. According to the Los Angeles Times blog, the unidentified Marine was trapped inside the vehicle for more than two hours and recovered at 2:15 p.m. and flown by helicopter to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, where he was pronounced dead at 2:47 p.m.

According to Pendleton's public affairs office, the name of the deceased is being withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of kin. A statement from Camp Pendleton read: "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the deceased Marine."

Marines regularly train in amphibious assault vehicles in this area. At a press conference held today on the base, Major Daniel Thomas, an executive officer with Pendleton's Amphibious Assault Schools Battalion, told reporters that there were three instructors and three students on board, and that the incident happened about 100 meters offshore in about 40 feet of water. No word yet on why the boat sank, but Thomas says the incident is under investigation.


The Fallbrook Village News reports that lifeguards and a dive team were among the civilian crews aiding military personnel in the emergency, according to Oceanside Police.

This tragedy comes ironically at a time when the future of the Marine Corps' amphibious assault vehicle is the subject of heated debate.