A US Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey has crashed off the Queensland coast near Shoalwater Bay Training Area.
CAPTION: An MV-22 Osprey of the United States Marine Corps photographed during Exercise Talisman Saber 2017. Photo by Leading Aircraftman Dillon Anderson.
The accident occurred yesterday, 5 August, around 4pm local time.
There were 26 personnel on board when the accident happened – 23 were rescued within an hour, with one transported to Rockhampton Hospital.
Three people remained missing as news came through.
The MV-22 was assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.
It launched from the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) and was conducting scheduled operations when the aircraft entered the water.
Small-boats and aircraft from the USS Bonhomme Richard immediately responded in the search and rescue efforts.
The Marine Rotational Force in Darwin said in a statement late yesterday that none of their personnel were involved in the incident.
Australia’s Defence Minister Marine Payne also confirmed that no Australians were involved.
“I have been advised of an incident involving a United States Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey helicopter off the coast of Shoalwater Bay today,” Minister Payne said in a statement late last night.
“I can confirm no Australian Defence Force personnel were onboard the aircraft.
“United States personnel are leading the search and recovery effort.
“I have briefed Prime Minister Turnbull and spoken with Secretary Mattis this evening to offer Australia’s support in any way that can be of assistance.
“Our thoughts are with the crew and families affected.”
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.
+ + +