Osterman said the age of the AAV that sank wasn't immediately known, but acknowledged that the vehicles were first fielded in the early 1970s. Since then, several modifications have been made to make them safer.
The Marines and sailor were wearing flotation devices along with their normal combat gear. Some of the Marines who were rescued were floating, indicating the gear was working properly.
Three Navy amphibious ships, a destroyer, several rigid-hull inflatable boats, and a Coast Guard cutter are participating in the search and rescue efforts. There are also Marine, Navy and Coast Guard helicopters looking for the missing eight.
Berger and Osterman both said for now, their focus is on the families of the fallen and injured, and finding the missing service members.
A small to medium-sized coastal patrol vessel.
Cutters at or under 175 feet in length come under control of District Commands.