The remains of seven Marines and a Sailor were successfully recovered Aug. 7, 2020, after underwater salvage operations following the July 30 mishap involving an amphibious assault vehicle off the coast of San Clemente Island.
The recovered Marines and Sailor will soon be transferred to Dover Air Force Base, Del., for preparation by mortuary affairs teams for burial.
Marine and Navy pallbearers will place the remains aboard an aircraft bound for Dover AFB in a solemn transfer. From Dover AFB, their remains will then be released to their families in accordance with their wishes.
The transfer of remains will not be open to the public, and we ask that the privacy of the families be respected as they make final arrangements for their loved ones.
“Our hearts and thoughts of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit are with the families of our recovered Marines and Sailor,” said Col. Christopher Bronzi, commanding officer of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. “We hope the successful recovery of our fallen warriors brings some measure of comfort.”
The U.S. Navy has led the underwater search and salvage efforts. Specialized equipment on a diving and salvage ship to recover the remains and AAV arrived Aug. 6 to relieve the crew of HOS Dominator, who stayed in position after locating the site.
Lance Cpl. Guillermo S. Perez, 19, of New Braunfels, Texas, also died in the AAV mishap and was pronounced dead at the scene July 30. His remains were transferred Aug. 5 to Dover AFB.
The sunken AAV has been successfully recovered. The cause of the July 30 incident is under investigation.