Remains of 7 Marines, 1 sailor recovered off California coast

Remains of 7 Marines, 1 sailor recovered off California coast

SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND, Calif. — The remains of seven Marines and a sailor were recovered off the California coast Friday, the Marine Expeditionary Force said in a statement.

Underwater salvage operations successfully recovered the remains after an accident on July 30 that involved an amphibious assault vehicle off the coast of San Clemente Island. According to The Marine Corps Times, the vehicle was found in 385 feet of water.

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Officials identified the eight people as:

  • Pfc. Bryan J. Baltierra, 19, of Corona California, a rifleman with Bravo Company, Battalion Landing Team 1/4
  • Lance Cpl. Marco A. Barranco, 21, of Montebello, California, a rifleman with Bravo Company, BLT 1/4
  • Pfc. Evan A. Bath, 19, of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, a rifleman with Bravo Company, BLT 1/4, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
  • U.S. Navy Hospitalman Christopher Gnem, 22, of Stockton, California, a hospital corpsman with Bravo Company, BLT 1/4
  • Pfc. Jack Ryan Ostrovsky, 21, of Bend, Oregon, a rifleman with Bravo Company, BLT 1/4
  • Cpl. Wesley A. Rodd, 23, of Harris, Texas, a rifleman with Bravo Company, BLT 1/4
  • Lance Cpl. Chase D. Sweetwood, 19, of Portland, Oregon, a rifleman with Bravo Company, BLT 1/4
  • Cpl. Cesar A. Villanueva, 21, of Riverside, California, a rifleman with Bravo Company, BLT 1/4

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 Wednesday to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

The remains recovered Friday will also be transferred to Dover AFB and then will be released to the soldiers’ families, the Marine Expeditionary Force said in a news release.

”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 MEU. “We hope the successful recovery of our fallen warriors brings some measure of comfort.”