Aug. 8 (UPI) — Crews have recovered the remains of seven Marines and one sailor who died more than a week ago when their amphibious assault vehicle sank off the coast of California, the U.S. Marines said.
The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit said late Friday that the bodies would be transported to Dover Air Force Base, Del., at which point they’ll be released to their families.
“Our hearts and thoughts of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit are with the families of our recovered Marines and sailor,” said Col. Christopher Bronzi, commanding officer of the unit. “We hope the successful recovery of our fallen warriors brings some measure of comfort.”
Sixteen service members were on board the vessel when it sank July 30 near the coast of San Clemente Island. The body of Lance Cpl. Guillermo Perez was immediately recovered. Seven survived.
Those recovered Friday were: Pfc. Bryan Baltierra, Lance Cpl. Marco Barranco, Pfc. Evan Bath, Hospital Corpsman Christopher Gnem, Pfc. Jack Ryan Ostrovsky, Cpl. Wesley Rodd, Lance Cpl. Chase Sweetwood and Cpl. Cesar Villanueva.
Officials discovered the sunken AAV and the bodies during a search Tuesday.
The Marines were investigating the cause of the sinking.