Marine killed and eight missing after training disaster off coast of California

A DESPERATE rescue mission is underway after a marine died and eight are missing after a training disaster off California's coast.

The Marine Expeditionary Force tweeted that the Navy and Coast Guard are searching for the sailors after the "mishap" involving an amphibious assault vehicle.

The fatal accident occurred during a training exercise on Thursday evening near San Clemente Island, and involved members of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, said Kiro 7 News.

The Marine amphibious force said on Twitter: "1 Marine has died, 8 service members remain missing and 2 were injured after an AAV mishap July 30 off the coast of Southern California.

"All are assigned to the 15th MEU. Search and rescue efforts are still underway with support from the Navy and Coast Guard."

Col. Christopher Bronzi, 15th MEU Commanding Officer, added: “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."

The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) provides a "forward deployed, flexible sea-based Marine air-ground task force", according to its website.

The unit is skilled in conducting amphibious operations, crisis response and contingency operations.

This includes "enabling the introduction of follow-on forces and designated special operations to support the theater requirements of combatant commanders".

More to follow…

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