CAMP PENDLETON — Marines, family and friend mourn the death of Sgt. Wesley J. Rice, 27, of San Antonio, Texas, on Jan. 14 after an amphibious assault vehicle sank in the Del Mar boat basin during a training exercise.
The surviving five Marines said, after the incident, that their instructor pushed them out of the vehicle as it became submerged Friday morning, but apparently wasn’t able to get out himself. The three trainees and two other instructors survived the incident without injury.
Rice reportedly died at Scripps La Jolla hospital at 2:47 p.m., about three hours after the incident, according to a written statement by Pendleton officials.
Rice, who had was serving as an instructor and Assault Amphibious Vehicle crewman, had been deployed twice to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Rice had been awarded the Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and two Sea Service Deployment Ribbons.
Investigators continue the investigation to determine a cause of death and the cause of the Jan. 14 accident.