Marine training accident leaves one dead and eight presumed dead

US & World News

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, CA – Officials with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), identified the victims in the amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) mishap on July 30.

In total, 16 personnel were aboard the AAV when on July 30 around 5:45 p.m. they reported taking on water while conducting shore-to-ship waterborne operations training in the vicinity of San Clemente Island off the coast of Southern California.

Five Marines were rescued and brought aboard USS Somerset, one marine was killed, seven Marines are presumed dead, and one Sailor is presumed dead.

Twenty-year-old Lance Cpl. Guillermo S. Perez, of New Braunfels, Texas, was pronounced dead at the scene before being transported by helicopter to Scripps Memorial Hospital in San Diego. He was a rifleman with Bravo Company, Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 1/4, 15th MEU.

Presumed dead are:

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

Also injured were:

  • A Marine rifleman with Bravo Company, BLT 1/4, 15th MEU. The Marine was transported from the scene to Scripps Memorial Hospital by helicopter and was in critical condition.
  • A Marine assault amphibious vehicle crewmember with Mechanized Company, BLT 1/4, 15th MEU. The Marine was transported from the scene to Scripps Memorial Hospital by helicopter and was in critical condition. He has since been upgraded to stable condition per a competent medical authority.

The incident is under investigation.

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