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Nine Marines have been presumed "dead" and two are in "critical" condition after an amphibious assault vehicle sank several hundred feet during a training session.

A search and rescue operation for the missing marines has come to an end nearly two days after The Marine Expeditionary Force announced that the Navy and Coast Guard were searching for sailors.

Training for an amphibious assault has taken a tragic turn off California (stock image) 2This photo is of a search and rescue swimmer assignedCredit: Public Domain

The MEF revealed early Sunday that the "15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), and the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG)" concluded their extensive 40-hour search for seven missing marines and one sailor.

Col. Christopher Bronzi, 15th MEU Commanding Officer, said in a Sunday press release: "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.”

The fatal accident occurred during a training exercise at 5.45pm on Thursday near San Clemente Island, and involved members of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

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The 15th MEU is based at the Marine Corps Camp Pendleton training centre on the West Coast.

During routine training near the island, the amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) began taking on water - with 15 marines and one sailor on board.

US Marines participate in AAV beach landing training during Exercise Iron Fist on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California in January, 2020

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Tags: navy us navy marine expeditionary amphibious assault

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2 Snowboarders Cited For Causing Avalanche In Summit County In March

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) — In Summit County two snowboarders are facing criminal charges after triggering this avalanche last March. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center shared pictures of the slide.

(credit: Colorado Avalanche Information Center)

(credit: Colorado Avalanche Information Center)

The avalanche buried hundreds of feet of roadway above the west portal of the Eisenhower Tunnel. It covered what’s known as the Loop Road in 20 feet of debris.

Fortunately, no one was caught in the slide but the two men were cited for reckless endangerment.

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