Australia finds US Marine Corps aircraft that crashed off coast

Reuters

A United States military aircraft that crashed off the Australian coast has been found, authorities said Monday, with divers preparing to try and locate three missing marines.

Two of the three missing Marines have been identified by family members as Lt. Banjamin Robert Cross from ME and Corporal Nathan Ordwa from Kansas.

Defence Minister Marise Payne said a survey ship found the submerged MV-22 Osprey in Shoalwater Bay shortly after starting its search.

An Australian navy ship arrived in Shoalwater Bay in Queensland state Sunday night to help the USA military hunt for the Bell Helicopter MV-22 Osprey, which the Marines said was conducting regularly scheduled operations on Saturday when it crashed into the water.

The tilt-rotor Osprey, which takes off and lands like a helicopter but can cruise like a standard airplane, has a checkered safety record.

The Osprey was conducting operations from an amphibious assault ship - a large aircraft carrier-type vessel designed for launching helicopters - when it went into the water, the Marine Corps said in a statement. An Australian navy ship arrived in Shoalwater Bay in Queensland state Sunday night to help the USA military hunt for the MV-22 Osprey.

Three Marines remain missing after the crash. The ship's small boats and other aircraft immediately responded, the statement said.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) was supporting the US-led recovery operation.

The crash is just the latest mishap for Marine Corps aircraft.

"Operations have now shifted to recovery efforts", the Marines said in a news release. The biennial exercise involved some 30,000 troops and 200 aircraft. The Osprey was part of a U.S.

The 26-year-old Marine had been based in Okinawa for the past year but had spent the last three months training in Australia, the paper wrote, citing family members.

Ospreys were grounded in Japan last December after pilots ditched one in shallow water just off Camp Schwab in northern Okinawa.

Three MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircrafts flying in formation above the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Sydney, Australia, on June 29.

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