Three Marines were reported missing on Saturday after a helicopter crash took place along the coast of Australia. Twenty-three of the 26 onboard the MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor helicopter have been rescued. Search and rescue efforts remain ongoing.
The aircraft had launched from the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) and was conducting normal operations when it unexpectedly crashed into the sea.
Boats and aircraft from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group were deployed to conduct search and rescue operations.
Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne confirmed that no Australian Defence Force personnel were on the aircraft, The Courier Mail reported.
"I have been advised of an incident involving a United States Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey helicopter off the coast of Shoalwater Bay today. The United States are leading the search and recovery effort," Payne said in a statement. "I have briefed Prime Minister Turnbull and spoken with Secretary Mattis this evening to offer Australia’s support in anyway that can be of assistance. Our thoughts are with the crew and the families affected."
The III Marine Expeditionary Force took to Twitter to update the public.
31st Marine Expeditionary Unit MV-22 Osprey mishap. @USMC @PacificCommand @PacificMarines @USPacificFleet… https://t.co/FkJ6d47LSR— III MEF Marines (@III MEF Marines) 1501933028.0
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