The three Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicles that left a training beach on a California island last week took the normal preparatory steps before entering the water. But they hit rough seas after passing the surf zone on their way back to the amphibious transport dock Somerset, leaving one AAV filling with more water than it could pump out, Commandant Gen. David Berger said on Aug 10. Nine of the 16 troops inside that vehicle were killed in the accident that left the AAV on the seafloor.
‘Eventually that trac sank,’ Berger stressed, referring to the amphibious tracked vehicle, colloquially known as an amtrac. ‘The other amtrac converged on it and pulled some of the Marines out of the water. And they had safety boats in the water as well, which pulled some Marines out of the water.’
Portmanteaus of amphibious tractor, a landing vehicle tracked.
The typical US Marine Corps AAV is the AAV-P7/A1, often referred to as an ‘Amtrac’.