Seven Marines and one sailor are all presumed dead after a training mishap happened off the coast of southern California on Thursday.
Marine authorities called off the search and rescue operations for the 8 missing people, they announced through a Press Release on Saturday.
The operations will now turn to search and recovery, the officials said.
The authorities concluded it will be almost impossible to have a successful rescue due to the “circumstances of the incident.”
Col. Christopher Bronzi, Commanding Officer of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), decided on the matter with a “heavy heart.”
“Our thoughts and prayers have been, and will continue to be with our Marines’ and Sailor’s families,” Bronzi concluded.
The Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) also expressed its condolences to the Marines’ and Sailor’s families.
The Marine Corps and the Coast Guard searched more than a thousand square nautical miles, as per the Press Release.
On Thursday, 15 Marines and 1 Sailor were on board the Amphibious Assault Vehicle(AAV) for a training exercise.
Authorities rescued 8 Marines, however, one of them died in the local hospital, as per NBC.
The incident is currently under investigation.
Gen. David Berger, Marine Corps Commandant, suspended all waterborne operations of its AAVs until they have answers on the cause of the incident.
The missing Marines were all from Camp Pendleton, north of San Diego.
Names of the missing Marines will be released to the public after informing their next of kin.
Not the First Accident
The Thursday incident was the “deadliest” among several AAV accidents that happened in recent years, said an Associated Press report.
According to them, there were two other incidents involving amphibious vehicles during training in 2011 and 2017.
In 2011, a Marine also died when their AAV sank offshore.
In 2017, Marines were hospitalized after a fire engulfed their landing craft.