8 bodies recovered after Marine landing craft sinks off California

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(CBS NEWS) – Authorities on Friday recovered the bodies of seven Marines and a Navy sailor who were killed when a Marine landing craft sank in hundreds of feet of water off the Southern California coast, authorities said. The remains were found after underwater salvage operations that followed the sinking on July 30.

They will be flown to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to be prepared for burial by mortuary affairs teams, according to a statement Friday night from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. The remains “will then be released to their families in accordance with their wishes,” the statement said.

The amphibious vehicle sank in 385 feet of water as it headed back to a Navy ship after completing routine training, the military said. One of the Marines rescued after the accident was pronounced dead at the scene.

The craft sank less than a mile from San Clemente Island off the coast of San Diego. A diving and salvage ship carrying special equipment arrived on Thursday and recovered the bodies and the vehicle, the military said.

The dead were identified earlier this week as: Pfc. Bryan J. Baltierra, 19, of Corona, California; Lance Cpl. Marco A. Barranco, 21, of Montebello, California; Pfc. Evan A. Bath, 19, of Oak Creek, Wisconsin; U.S. Navy Hospitalman Christopher Gnem, 22, of Stockton, California; Pfc. Jack Ryan Ostrovsky, 21, of Bend, Oregon; Cpl. Wesley A. Rodd, 23, of Harris, Texas; Lance Cpl. Chase D. Sweetwood, 19, of Portland, Oregon; and Cpl. Cesar A. Villanueva, 21, of Riverside, California.

Eight other people were rescued but one died at the scene. He was identified as Marine Lance Cpl. Guillermo S. Perez, 19, of New Braunfels, Texas. His body was flown to Dover Air Force Base on Wednesday

The craft sank less than a mile from San Clemente Island off the coast of San Diego. A diving and salvage ship carrying special equipment arrived on Thursday and recovered the bodies and the vehicle, the military said.

The dead were identified earlier this week as: Pfc. Bryan J. Baltierra, 19, of Corona, California; Lance Cpl. Marco A. Barranco, 21, of Montebello, California; Pfc. Evan A. Bath, 19, of Oak Creek, Wisconsin; U.S. Navy Hospitalman Christopher Gnem, 22, of Stockton, California; Pfc. Jack Ryan Ostrovsky, 21, of Bend, Oregon; Cpl. Wesley A. Rodd, 23, of Harris, Texas; Lance Cpl. Chase D. Sweetwood, 19, of Portland, Oregon; and Cpl. Cesar A. Villanueva, 21, of Riverside, California.

Eight other people were rescued but one died at the scene. He was identified as Marine Lance Cpl. Guillermo S. Perez, 19, of New Braunfels, Texas. His body was flown to Dover Air Force Base on Wednesday.

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