Search for 3 Marines Missing After Aircraft 'Mishap' Off Australia Ends

Posted: Aug 05, 2017 9:39 PM
Search for 3 Marines Missing After Aircraft 'Mishap' Off Australia Ends

The search for three Marines missing after an MV-22 Osprey went down off the east coast of Australia has been suspended, the Marine Corps announced in a press release Saturday night.

Operations have shifted to a recovery effort, the statement said, and the families of the missing Marines have been notified.

As reported earlier today, the MV-22 Osprey had launched from the USS Bonhomme Richard and was conducting regularly scheduled operations when it crashed into the water. The ship's small boats and aircraft immediately responded in the search and rescue efforts. Twenty-three of the 26 personnel aboard were rescued by the nearby ship's small boats.

The Osprey is a tilt-rotor aircraft that takes off and lands like a helicopter, but flies like an airplane. They have been involved in a series of high-profile crashes in recent years.

The aircraft was in Australia for a joint military training exercise held by the U.S. and Australia last month in Shoalwater Bay. The Talisman Sabre exercise, a biennial event between the two nations, involved more than 30,000 troops and 200 aircraft.

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Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne said Saturday's incident occurred off the coast of Shoalwater Bay in Queensland state.

"I can confirm no Australian Defence Force personnel were on board the aircraft," Payne said in a statement. "The United States are leading the search and recovery effort."

The incident is under investigation.