By LUIS MARTINEZ, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) -- At least one Marine is dead and eight others are missing after a “mishap” involving an amphibious assault vehicle off the California coast, officials said.
Eight other Marines, including the one who died, were recovered off San Clemente Island after the amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) they were on sank Thursday night.
Multiple ships and helicopters from the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard are combing the waters off of San Clemente Island for the missing Marines.
Fifteen Marines and a sailor were aboard the AAV after it launched from a Navy amphibious ship.
"Two Marines were transported to local hospitals, where one was listed in critical condition and the other in stable condition," the Marine Expeditionary Force said in a statement.
Amphibious assault vehicles are used to carry out beach landings.
The accident occurred as the 5th MEU and Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group conducted routine training exercise in the vicinity of San Clemente Island.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident. I ask that you keep our Marines, sailors, and their families in your prayers as we continue our search,” Col. Christopher Bronzi said in a statement.
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