MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Wisconsin Marine is among those presumed dead after their landing craft sank off the Southern California coast during a training exercise last week.
Pfc. Evan Bath, of Oak Creek, a 19-year-old rifleman, is among the eight troops missing and presumed dead.
The Marines said Sunday they had called off the search that started Thursday when the amphibious assault vehicle sank with 15 Marines and one Navy sailor aboard. Eight Marines were rescued, but one later died and two are in critical condition.
The 26-ton craft took on water and quickly sank in hundreds of feet of water making it difficult to reach.
All of the Marines aboard were attached to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, based at nearby Camp Pendleton, north of San Diego.
They ranged in age from 19 to early 30s and all were wearing combat gear, including body armor and flotation vests, according to Lt. Gen. Joseph Osterman, commanding general of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.
The craft was one of 13 amphibious assault vehicles that had just completed an exercise. It was heading back to a Navy ship when it began taking on water about a half-mile from a Navy-owned island off San Diego.