A Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicle. Defense Department photo

A massive sea and air search was under way on Friday morning for eight missing Marines after a training mishap near San Clemente Island Thursday left one Marine dead and two others injured, the Marine Corps said in a statement.

Fifteen Marines and one Navy sailor were aboard an amphibious assault vehicle that began taking on water around 5:45 p.m. Pacific time on Thursday, the statement said.

One Marine was pronounced dead at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, and two others were taken to hospitals where one was listed in critical condition and the other in stable condition, the statement said.

A Navy destroyer and a Coast Guard cutter searched at sea while three Navy helicopters and a Coast Guard helicopter searched overhead, in addition to several small Navy boats, the statement said.

All the Marines involved were assigned to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which is based at Camp Pendleton.

Marines often practice beach assaults there using the amphibious troop transport vehicles.

“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,” Colonel Christopher Bronzi, commanding officer of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, said on Twitter.

The incident occurred during what the Marine Corps called a routine training exercise near San Clemente Island.

— Reuters

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.