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Marine commander relieved following drowning probe

Officials say a Marine Corps major has been relieved of his command after a probe found unsafe conditions contributed to a Marine drowning while treading water in a swimming pool during a screening test.

Marine Corps spokesman Col. Sean Gibson said Thursday that the action was taken May 15 against Maj. Adam Burch for a loss of trust in his ability to lead following the Jan. 18 drowning of 18-year-old Pfc. Joshua Islam at Camp Pendleton, north of San Diego.

Investigation documents released to the Marine Corps Times in response to a Freedom of Information Act request found that swim instructors and medical personnel failed to recognize Islam was in distress.

According to the investigation, the North Carolina rifleman slipped underwater repeatedly before an instructor pulled him to the side.

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