Marines Locate Sunken AAV, Remains of Missing Marines and Sailor Inside

By Faye Higbee

Using an ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) from the vessel HOS Dominator, the sunken AAV from last week’s accident was located.  A remote video system was used to identify that human remains were aboard. The Marine Corps will recover the remains of the Marines and Sailor, as well as raise the sunken AAV from the ocean floor.

The AAV sank quickly after taking on water last Thursday, according to the Marine Corps Times. Seven Marines and one Sailor were presumed dead on Sunday after the 40 hour search was called off and the effort turned to recovery rather than search and rescue.

The Marine Corps Times stated:

Eight Marines were able to escape the drowning vehicle, but one, Lance Cpl. Guillermo S. Perez, 20, of New Braunfels, Texas, was pronounced dead shortly after being returned to the amphibious transport dock Somerset.

The equipment necessary to conduct the recovery operation is expected to be in place by the end of the week and a “dignified transfer of our Marines and Sailor will occur as soon as possible after the conclusion of recovery operations,” the release added.

One of the two Marines who were critically injured in the accident has been upgraded to stable condition at Scripps Memorial Hospital. The other was moved to stable previously.

The others who died in the accident were:

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.

Top row: Pfc. Bryan J. Baltierra, Pfc. Evan A. Bath, Navy Seaman Christopher Gnem and Lance Cpl. Guillermo S. Perez (recovered); and bottom row, Lance Cpl. Chase D. Sweetwood, Cpl. Wesley A. Rodd, Cpl. Cesar A. Villanueva and Pfc. Jack Ryan Ostrovsky. LCpl Marco Barranco is picture below. Photo via Stars and Stripes.

Local CBS News Los Angeles reported that PFC Baltierra was just married a month before the accident.

Makeshift memorials popped up in the yards of Marine and sailor family members.  Semper Fi, gentlemen. Fair winds and following seas.



Featured: 1st MEF photo of the ROV that located the sunken AAV


Sign up for our Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children newsletter and check out our shop while you’re there!