US Marine aircraft reportedly crashes off Australian coast, search and rescue underway

US Marine aircraft reportedly crashes off Australian coast, search and rescue underway

United States military aircraft and boats are scouring waters off Australia's east coast Saturday for three Marines involved in what the Marines Corps is calling a "mishap" with an MV-22 aircraft.

The incident happened while "conducting regularly scheduled operations", said a statement from Butler Marine Base in Okinawa, Japan.

The plane and the ship were off the coast of the State of Queensland, in the north-east of Australia, to participate in the military exercise the us-australian Talisman Sabre, which had just completed.

The tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey has a reputation within the USA military as being a particularly accident-prone aircraft.

Twenty-three marines were rescued while three remain missing.




There are unconfirmed reports that 23 of the 25 crew have been rescued. A search and rescue operation has been launched for the same.

Minister for Defence Marise Payne confirmed in a statement late on Saturday night that no Australian Defence Force personnel were on board the aircraft.

She had also briefed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and spoken with US Defense Secretary James Mattis to offer Australia's support.

Last December, a U.S. military Osprey crash-landed off Japan's southern island of Okinawa. The Osprey is a tiltrotor aircraft created to be able to take off and land vertically but fly much like a plane at greater speeds than conventional helicopters.

The helicopter involved in the incident-the MV-22 Osprey-has been the subject of controversy in the past for a shaky safety record and a series of crashes that resulted in the deaths of 39 people over 26 years.

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