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OKINAWA, Japan - On Aug. 6 at around 3:00 a.m. local time, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps suspended search and rescue operations for three Marines involved in the Aug. 5 MV-22 Osprey mishap off the east coast of Australia.
Operations have now shifted to recovery efforts. Twenty-three of 26 personnel aboard were rescued. The next-of-kin for the three missing Marines have been notified.
The transition comes after teams led continuous sustained search efforts supported by aircraft and ships. As the sea state permits, recovery efforts will be conducted to further search, assess and survey the area, in coordination and with assistance from the Australian Defence Force. Recovery and salvage operations can take several months to complete, but can be extended based on several environmental factors.
The MV-22 was assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. The aircraft involved in the mishap had launched from the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) and was conducting regularly scheduled operations when the aircraft entered the water.
The ship’s small boats and aircraft immediately responded in the search and rescue efforts.
The circumstances of the mishap are currently under investigation. There is no additional information available at this time.
The 31st MEU is currently operating with the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group as part of a regularly-scheduled deployment in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.