Marines Missing After Osprey Crashes Off Australia

Marines Missing After Osprey Crashes Off Australia

A search and rescue operation is under way off Queensland's coast for three marines who are missing after a U.S. military plane crashed into the sea.

The MV-22 Osprey went down in in Shoalwater Bay, off the coast of Queensland near Rockhampton earlier today.

In a statement, III Marine Expeditionary Force, said that following a "mishap," 23 out of 26 personnel aboard had been rescued and that a search and rescue mission was underway for the remaining three. 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.

"I have briefed Prime Minister (Malcolm) Turnbull and spoken with (US Defense) Secretary (Jim) Mattis this evening to offer Australia's support in any way that can be of assistance".

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The US Marine Corps said in a statement small boats and aircraft were involved in the search. "There is an active search and rescue operation ongoing for service members involved in an MV-22 mishap", US Marine Corps confirmed in a statement. No one was killed but the accident sparked anger on the Japanese island - a strategic outpost of USA military power.

The service members went missing after what the Marine Corps is calling a "mishap" with an MV-22 aircraft, also known as an Osprey heli-plane.

Marine authorities are investigating the incident. Talisman Saber is a biennial U.S. -Australia bilateral exercise held off the coast of Australia meant to achieve interoperability and strengthen the U.S. -Australia alliance. It has entered the coast of Shoalwater Bay when it crashed.

In 2015, a U.S. Osprey crashed during a training exercise in Hawaii, killing two Marines. They are much faster than helicopters and have the capability to move vertically.

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