Amphibious Assault Vehicle Mishap
1 Aug 2020

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- One Marine with 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), I Marine Expeditionary Force, was pronounced dead at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla following an amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) mishap off the coast of Southern California on July 30, 2020.

Two Marines were transported to local hospitals, where one was listed in critical condition and the other in stable condition.

Fifteen Marines and one Sailor were inside the AAV at the time of the incident, eight of whom have been recovered.

The name of the deceased will be withheld until 24 hours after next of kin have been notified.

“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,” said Col. Christopher Bronzi, 15th MEU Commanding Officer.

Search and rescue efforts are ongoing to recover the remaining eight service members. Assisting in the search efforts are USS John Finn, three U.S. Navy MH-60 helicopters and multiple small boats from USS Makin Island, USS Somerset, and USS San Diego, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Forrest Rednour and a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Sector San Diego.

At approximately 5:45 p.m. PST, Marines in the AAV reported taking on water.

The incident occurred during a 15th MEU and Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group routine training exercise in the vicinity of San Clemente Island.

The incident is under investigation.

Media queries can be directed via e-mail to

I MEF Comm Strat

15th Marine Expeditionary Unit