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U.S. Marine dead, 2 hurt, 8 missing after training incident near California

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Shit.  I wonder if it was out at San Nicholas or San Clemente Islands?

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Posted (edited)

I've ridden in many AAVs during my time in the Corps, and I mean many of them. They're basically floating bricks and require a running engine to pump enough to stay afloat. I was always worried about going under in those things, since all of our stuff in the Corps is old and always near the point of failure, but I always trusted my YATYAS brothers to take care of me. Rumor on all the Marine sites and forums I still hang out in is that this one went under. If so, that royally sucks, you generally know within the first couple minutes of splashing whether you'll float or not.

Edited by MillerEP

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I have no idea if these pics are the same model that went down, but you can see they are inherently unstable even in good conditions. Add some high seas and things go from sketchy to death.

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images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSREWWtcxB4PH1OjJ_Pw8V

They are a semi-floating, unbalanced brick.

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I hated riding in AAVs. We were the boat company so we did zodiacs more often than not, but every now and then we’d get in the tracks. Rough rides in the ocean swells, that initial sink when you first drop in, the smell, the fumes, the heat... ugh.  Always made me happy to have my zodiac.  RIP brothers. 

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Shit -- I never even served, and those things always looked sketchy and scary as hell to me.  Damn.

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Posted (edited)

Confirmation that it went under. What you don't see is those pictures is when it's buttoned up, you're stuck inside the belly of that thing with nowhere to go, crammed in like sardines.  There were 15 inside, 8 still missing. Semper Fi brothers.

edit: This is what it's like inside:

Pin on .mil

Edited by MillerEP

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Confirmation that it went under. What you don't see is those pictures is when it's buttoned up, you're stuck inside the belly of that thing with nowhere to go, crammed in like sardines.  There were 15 inside, 8 still missing. Semper Fi brothers.
edit: This is what it's like inside:
aaf9e8752e3033d4c6bc23c99ea3323b.jpg
Jesus. What's the purpose of these things? Amphibious assault like on D-Day?

Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, MillerEP said:

Confirmation that it went under. What you don't see is those pictures is when it's buttoned up, you're stuck inside the belly of that thing with nowhere to go, crammed in like sardines.  There were 15 inside, 8 still missing. Semper Fi brothers.

edit: This is what it's like inside:

Pin on .mil

Holy crap. No way I would want to be in one of those SOBs. Would rather take my chances swimming wherever we were going. 

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47 minutes ago, Orale said:

Jesus. What's the purpose of these things? Amphibious assault like on D-Day?

Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk
 

Yep, exactly. They're for amphibious assaults, they're basically armored troop carriers, that can go on land, so they were the replacements for the old "Higgins boats" you saw in the D-Day invasions.

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4 minutes ago, MillerEP said:

Yep, exactly. They're for amphibious assaults, they're basically armored troop carriers, that can go on land, so they were the replacements for the old "Higgins boats" you saw in the D-Day invasions.

Pretty sure I'd prefer the Higgins boats. Damn. 

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Never good when any member of our armed forces dies, but as the son of a Marine, I get a little extra sad when a Marine passes in the line of duty. 

Semper Fi.

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2 hours ago, MillerEP said:

Confirmation that it went under. What you don't see is those pictures is when it's buttoned up, you're stuck inside the belly of that thing with nowhere to go, crammed in like sardines.  There were 15 inside, 8 still missing. Semper Fi brothers.

edit: This is what it's like inside:

Pin on .mil

Nightmare fuel. Rest in peace and Semper Fi.

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Posted (edited)

When I read about it this morning, I knew that an AAV had to have sunk.  Back in my day, they were called LVTP-7s.  I was in the 4th MarDiv (Reserves), so I didn't spend much time in them, but the time I did spend wasn't pleasant.  When we went off the back of the ship in an exercise, I was very, very curious as to whether we would surface again.  We were under for maybe 10 seconds, but it seemed like three hours to me.

@Dahobbs, think back to the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan.  The Higgins boat ramps dropped forward, opening up what they called the "murder hole".  A machine gun could shoot straight into the open ramp and chop up everyone inside in one concentrated bunch.  Mortars and bullets could drop into the open tops.  With the LVTP-7/AAV, the ramp opens to the rear, so a machine gun generally can't just fire into the ramp and fill the interior with bouncing rounds.  The closed top also offers some protection from overhead.  As bad as that looks, it is greatly preferable to a Higgins boat.  In short, when you are in the business of projecting ground forces from the sea to the shore, there are no safe or easy options.

Semper Fi and RIP, brothers.

Edited by Scheiss Meister

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RIP to the family and friends of those who passed.
2 of my sons best HS friends went into the Corps; all military families dread these days and receiving an American flag.

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I actually drove the LVT-7 (the earlier version of the present day amtrack) for the Jacksonville Gators during my first 2 years at Florida.

It was actually very stable in the water (albeit slow.) But there was one sure-fire way to sink one leaving the boat. If the drain plug was not in place you would drive off the boat and never come back up. I’m guessing that’s what happened here. If that is what happened we are fortunate so many survived.

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What a terrible incident.  I’ll probably have nightmares about this.  I did after the FITZGERALD accident.  
 

Though a Navy guy, I have ridden in several AAVs.   My first tour as a junior officer was on an LPD.  I was the ship’s primary control officer during amphib ops.  In order to understand the vehicles I was controlling, I took a lot of training rides in these things.  They are terrifying.  
 

God bless the Marines that ride these things in to the beach.  

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One of my nephews is just a few months into his service with the Marines, so this hits close to home. I hope he never has to ride in one of those death traps.

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One of my nephews is just a few months into his service with the Marines, so this hits close to home. I hope he never has to ride in one of those death traps.

It’s an horrific accident. But these amtracks have been driving Marines around for almost 50 years. To call them death traps is being just a bit melodramatic. Most Marines were thrilled to catch a ride in a track and not have to hump those extra miles. It’s the Marine Corps, there is always going to be some risk involved.

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A massive search and rescue operation for seven Marines and a Navy sailor who went missing after a training accident off the California coast has been halted and all are presumed dead, authorities said Sunday.

Fifteen Marines and the sailor were participating in a routine training exercise off the coast of San Clemente Island on Thursday when their amphibious assault vehicle began taking on water and sank. Eight Marines were pulled from the water – one died and two others remained hospitalized in critical condition Sunday, the Marines said in a statement.

Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard helicopters and ships searched more than I,000 square nautical miles for 40 hours. Search team commanders ultimately determined there was little probability of a successful rescue given the circumstances of the incident, the statement said. 

"It is with a heavy heart, that I decided to conclude the search and rescue effort," said Col. Christopher Bronzi. "The steadfast dedication of the Marines, sailors. and Coast Guardsmen to the persistent rescue effort was tremendous." 

The vehicle sank in several hundred feet of water off San Clemente Island, about 60 miles off the coast of Camp Pendleton in San Diego County. Efforts will now turn to finding and recovering the bodies, including equipment designed to survey the sea floor, which is too deep for divers to reach.

"Our thoughts and prayers have been, and will continue to be with our Marines' and sailor's families," said Bronzi. "As we turn to recovery operations we will continue our exhaustive search for our missing Marines and Sailor." 

The circumstances surrounding the incident are being investigated. The tragedy marks the third time in less than a decade that Camp Pendleton Marines have been injured or died in amphibious assault vehicles during training exercises.

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger ordered an immediate suspension of amphibious assault vehicles from training at sea.

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I know more modern amphibious vehicles are needed, but everyone knows the Marines suck hind teat for equipment. Those things operate on a thin shred of buoyancy. Maybe a retrofit with inflatable pontoons that could be jettisoned would be a cheap and easy stop gap.

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2 hours ago, RPM said:

The vehicle sank in several hundred feet of water off San Clemente Island, about 60 miles off the coast of Camp Pendleton in San Diego County. 

Those things aren't exactly ocean-going ships.  I would think they could have found other places to train that weren't several hundred feet of water.

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2 minutes ago, atomheartbevo said:

Those things aren't exactly ocean-going ships.  I would think they could have found other places to train that weren't several hundred feet of water.

To be fair, that's what they were designed to do. War dictates the sea conditions or shoreline.

Counterpoint: It's a shitty design. Amphibs are hard. A semi subversivable would be better. Think sea turtle.

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Posted (edited)

.

Edited by RPM
wrong thread

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Just now, slorch said:

It is much preferred to drown in 20 feet of water

Ira Hayes says 6 inches will work.

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13 minutes ago, atomheartbevo said:

Those things aren't exactly ocean-going ships.  I would think they could have found other places to train that weren't several hundred feet of water.

It is much preferred to drown in 20 feet of water

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1 hour ago, atomheartbevo said:

Those things aren't exactly ocean-going ships.  I would think they could have found other places to train that weren't several hundred feet of water.

Once the AAV is about 4-5 under water it almost physically impossible to open the top-hatches. It takes almost all strength an average Marine has to unlatch and open. Combine that with the fact that the vehicle commander and driver hatch is open, once the AAV goes below surface it is just a matter of seconds before it is gone.

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How awful for the victims and their families. RIP to the Marines and Sailors involved and I can only hope that some comfort can be given to the families.

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2 minutes ago, Hate said:

How awful for the victims and their families. RIP to the Marines and Sailors involved and I can only hope that some comfort can be given to the families.

Well said !    Thoughts and prayers for all.

 

Lance Cpl. Guillermo S. Perez, 20, of New Braunfels, Texas, was pronounced dead at the scene before being taken by helicopter to Scripps Memorial Hospital in San Diego. He was a rifleman with Bravo Company, Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 1/4, according to the release.

A sailor and seven Marines are presumed dead:

Pfc. Bryan J. Baltierra, 19, of Corona, California

Lance Cpl. Marco A. Barranco, 21, of Montebello, California

Pfc. Evan A. Bath, 19, of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, a rifleman

US Navy Hospitalman Christopher Gnem, 22, of Stockton, California

Pfc. Jack Ryan Ostrovsky, 21, of Bend, Oregon, a rifleman

Cpl. Wesley A. Rodd, 23, of Harris, Texas, a rifleman

Lance Cpl. Chase D. Sweetwood, 19, of Portland, Oregon, a rifleman

Cpl. Cesar A. Villanueva, 21, of Riverside, California, a rifleman

 

https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/03/politics/amphibious-assault-vehicle-training-victims-identified/index.html

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Bodies of the remaining found

https://americanmilitarynews.com/2020/08/bodies-of-7-missing-marines-1-sailor-boat-wreckage-found-on-ocean-floor-off-california-coast/

Quote

The U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy located the bodies of eight missing service members and the wreckage of their sunken amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) on Monday, four days after the accident occurred.

A press release on Tuesday confirmed the positive identification of the wreckage and bodies from the previous day. The vehicle was found at a depth of 385 feet, and human remains were spotted with the Navy’s remote video systems deployed from its search and rescue ship, HOS Dominator.

 

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On 8/2/2020 at 1:16 PM, atomheartbevo said:

Those things aren't exactly ocean-going ships.  I would think they could have found other places to train that weren't several hundred feet of water.

Not only need to, but the military has to train the way that they will fight. All conditions, all weather.  Mid 80's in the PNW, we had a saying,....."If it ain't raining, we ain't training."

Unfortunately,  you will lose good people and good friends the more realistic that you make it.

RIP Riflemen and Corpsman

 

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