Authorities announced on Sunday that after a 40-hour operation, the search for eight missing American soldiers off the coast of California had been cancelled, all of whom are now dead.
Seven Marines and a Navy sailor disappeared Thursday when an amphibious assault vehicle sank hundreds of feet in water during a training exercise.
Colonel Christopher Bronzi, commander of the 15th Naval Expeditionary Force, said: “I decided to end the search and rescue work with heavy determination.” Say on twitter. “The Marine Corps, sailors and Coast Guard are unwaveringly committed to the ongoing rescue work, which is huge.”
The department said in an interview: “All eight missing service personnel are considered dead.” Another article on Sunday. “The work now will shift to search and recovery.”
During the exercise, when the amphibious boats began to fetch water, 16 of the soldiers were missing. The three rescued service personnel were pulled out of the spacecraft and taken to the district hospital. One of them died. The other two are classified as critical.
The cause of the accident is unclear. The names of the missing marines and sailors have not been announced.
The Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and U.S. Navy searched 1,000 square nautical miles of the ocean to find the missing soldiers, USA Today says.
Authorities said the 26-ton military vehicle was lying hundreds of feet below the surface of the water, which complicated attempts to retrieve it. The ship was returning to base when the accident happened.