Author Of Article AUGUST 02, 2020
Seven missing U.S. Marines and one Sailor are now presumed dead and a 40-hour search operation has been suspended following a training accident off the coast of California on Thursday.
“All eight service members are presumed deceased. The 15th MEU [Marine Expeditionary Unit] and the ARG [Amphibious Ready Group] leadership determined that there was little probability of a successful rescue given the circumstances of the incident,” I Marine Expeditionary Force said in a statement early Sunday.
During the 40-hour search operation, personnel from the Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard searched a 1,000 square nautical mile radius. Search efforts involved U.S. warships USS John Finn, USS Makin Island, USS Somerset, and USS San Diego, in addition to 11 U.S. Navy SH-60 helicopters, and helicopters and vessels from the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.
Col. Christopher Bronzi, 15th MEU Commanding Officer, said “It is with a heavy heart, that I decided to conclude the search and rescue effort. The steadfast dedication of the Marines, Sailors, and Coast Guardsmen to the persistent rescue effort was tremendous.”