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US Marines Halt Amphibious Vehicle Operations After Beach Mishaps

The US Marine Corps has halted waterborne Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) operations following a Tuesday training incident at a beach that disabled two ACVs.

An ACV overturned after being broadsided by a wave as it was approaching the beach at Camp Pendleton, California, USNI News revealed, citing UMC officials.

The report added that another vehicle was disabled during the training.

No Marines were injured in the incidents, which took place with the 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, part of the 1st Marine Division. 

Choppy Waters

The area saw eight-to-ten-foot (2.4-3 meters) waves in the area with “strong rip currents,” the outlet wrote, citing the National Weather Service advisory for Tuesday.

Deputy commandant Lt. Gen. David J. Furness said, “A pause on ACV waterborne operations will give us time to conduct an investigation, learn from this event, and ensure our assault amphibian community remains ready to support our nation.”

Vehicle Not Designed for ‘Higher Sea Conditions’

The incidents come two years after the sinking of an Amphibious Assault Vehicle — the predecessor of the ACV— in similar “higher sea state conditions,” resulting in the deaths of eight Marines and a Navy corpsman.

An inquiry revealed non-adherence to safety and standard operating procedures, including “the lack of water safety and egress training, inadequate safety gear, poorly done or lack of safety briefs, and no dedicated safety boat accompanying the vehicles during the waterborne operations,” USNI News wrote.

According to the outlet, the ACV is designed to operate safely in waters up to sea state 3, a maximum of three-foot (0.9 meters) waves. 

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