UPDATED 12:30a.m. EDT:
Three Marines reported missing after their MV-22 Osprey went down off the coast of Australia earlier this afternoon are now presumed deceased, according to the USMC. The most recent update this evening:
“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. 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.
ORIGINAL REPORT: An active search and rescue mission is currently underway after a USMC MV-22 Osprey assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, was “involved in a mishap off of the east coast of Australia around 4:00 p.m. Aug. 5,” according to the USMC.
“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,” they added.
Twenty-three of 26 personnel aboard have been rescued; three are still missing.
“The ship’s small boats and aircraft immediately responded in the search and rescue efforts. 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.”
“The circumstances of the mishap are currently under investigation,” they added.
We will update as more information becomes available.