Published: Sun, August 06, 2017
World News | By Cecilia Wilkerson

U.S. searching for 3 missing Marines after aircraft mishap off Australia

U.S. searching for 3 missing Marines after aircraft mishap off Australia

Search and rescue operations were underway for three U.S. Marines who were missing after their Osprey aircraft crashed into the sea off the east coast of Australia on Saturday while trying to land.

The MV-22 Osprey, carrying 26 personnel, was involved in what was described as a "mishap" on Saturday afternoon during a military exercise with Australian forces at Shoalwater Bay. The aircraft was assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 and operating with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, or MEU.

USA military forces have been operating in the area as part of a joint training exercise called Talisman Sabre.

Small boats and warships are involved in the search and The Morning Bulletin understands local volunteer marine rescue crews are also responding.

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It had taken off from the USS Bonhomme Richard and was on regularly scheduled operations when it hit the water in a "mishap", a statement from the U.S. military says.

The Australian Department of Defence confirmed there were no Australian personnel on board.

"In recent weeks, many Queenslanders have had the opportunity to meet United States servicemen and servicewoman visiting as they prepare for the joint military exercise Talisman Sabre in central Queensland".

'The United States are leading the search and recovery effort'.

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An MV-22 Osprey was destroyed earlier this year during a controversial raid by USA forces in Yemen, after three crew members were injured in a "hard landing".

UPDATE 10.15PM: CASUALTIES have reportedly started arriving at Rockhampton Base Hospital after a US Marines Corp MV-22 crashed at Shoalwater Bay earlier this evening.

Since 1991, there have been 9 fatal crashes involving V-22 Ospreys. Five crew members of an Osprey had to be rescued in December 2016 when their aircraft was forced to make a shallow water landing off Okinawa. And in January, three US soldiers were wounded in the "hard landing" of an Osprey in Yemen.

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