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Exclusive Details: 30 US Marines and Navy Sailors Injured in Training Accident

At least 30 sailors and Marines were injured off the Atlantic coast of Jacksonville, Florida, Wednesday when two landing hovercrafts collided.

Landing Craft Air Cushions, or LCACs, from both the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Wasp and the transport dock vessel USS New York crashed into each other, according to a Navy announcement.

Sailors assigned to the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group and and Marines assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit were conducting a training exercise when the incident occurred, according to the report.

The Western Journal reached out to the U.S. Navy for an update on the incident.

Cmdr. Lara Bollinger, a Navy public information officer, said that “[b]oth LCACs involved remained afloat after the incident, and have since returned to their respective ships.”

Bollinger added that the collision “remains under investigation” and noted that the Navy will provide more information when it is available.

She said that all 30 injured personnel received medical care. “Most injuries were considered minor, and those personnel returned to full duty,” she added.

Five of the 30 servicemembers reportedly required advanced medical care and were airlifted to Savannah Memorial University Medical Center in Southern Georgia, with most having been released.

Bollinger said that “[o]f the five Sailors who were medically evacuated, one remains under medical care at a hospital in Savannah, Georgia. The others were treated and released to return to duty.”

“Our primary focus is on our Sailor’s health and well-being,” she added.

The vessels are currently at sea as part of the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group / Marine Expeditionary Unit 24 composite training unit exercise.

The Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) is a high-speed, over-the-beach, amphibious landing hovercraft that is built to carry a payload of up to 75 tons, according to a Navy website.

They are used to transport the weapons systems, equipment, cargo and personnel from ship to shore and across the beach.

LCAC can carry even heavy equipment such as M-1 tanks at high speeds, which provides significant benefits, the Navy site reported.

“Air cushion technology allows this vehicle to reach more than 70 percent of the world’s coastline, while only about 15 percent of that coastline is accessible by conventional landing craft.”

 


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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