9 Presumed Dead in Marines Amphibious Assault Vehicle Accident

Nine sailors are presumed dead after a two-day search only recovered one body, all killed in a Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicle accident off the coast of Southern California on Thursday, according to Marine Times.

Sixteen service members were aboard the AAV when it reported taking on water near San Clemente Island, off the Southern California coast. Five Marines were rescued and brought aboard the amphibious transport dock Somerset, according to a press release Sunday.

Two other Marines were transported from the scene by helicopter to the Scripps Memorial Hospital and were in critical condition, according to the press release. One was a Marine rifleman, who was still in critical condition as of Sunday night. The second Marine ― an AAV crew member ― was in critical condition but “since has been upgraded to stable condition.”

Of those who did not survive, Lance Cpl. Guillermo S. Perez, of New Braunfels, Texas, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit press release on Sunday. His body was then taken by helicopter to San Diego’s Scripps Memorial Hospital. The 20-year-old was a rifleman with Bravo Company, Battalion Landing Team 1/4, 15th MEU ― the same company as the rest of the troops.

Presumed dead are:

―Pfc. Bryan J. Baltierra, 19, of Corona, California, a rifleman.

―Lance Cpl. Marco A. Barranco, 21, of Montebello, California, a rifleman.

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

―U.S. Navy Hospitalman Christopher Gnem, 22, of Stockton, California, a hospital corpsman.

―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.


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