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1 dead, 8 missing after U.S. Marine sea tank sinks

An amphibious assault vehicle carrying 15 Marines and a Navy sailor sank near a military-owned island off the coast of Southern California, leaving one of the Marines dead and eight missing, authorities said Friday.

They were traveling in the vehicle that resembles a seafaring tank from the shores of San Clemente Island to a Navy ship Thursday evening when they reported the vehicle was taking on water, said Lt. Cameron H. Edinburgh, a Marine Corps spokesman for Camp Pendleton.

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Two Marines who were rescued were injured, with one hospitalized in critical condition and the other in stable condition, a Marine Corps statement said.

Military ships, small boats and helicopters on Friday were searching choppy seas for the missing amid moderate to strong winds. The Navy-owned island is about 70 miles (112 kilometers) offshore from San Diego.

All of the Marines on the vehicle were assigned to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit and were involved in a routine military exercise when the vehicle started taking on water, the Marine Corps said.

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