Search Under Way for Osprey That Went Down Off Australian Coast

MV-22 Osprey

GETTYThe Marines Corps MV-22 Osprey has a top speed of 351 mph

The U.S. military has launched a search and rescue mission after a helicopter reportedly crashed into the sea off the Queensland coast.

Three US Marines are missing after an MV-22 Osprey crashed into the waters off the coast of Queensland, Australia, Saturday afternoon, ABC reports.

The Marine base Camp Butler in Japan said that 23 of 26 personnel aboard the aircraft have been rescued after Saturday's crash.

In a statement, the US Marine Corps Public Affairs Office said there had been a "mishap".

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This is published unedited from the IANS feed. The incident is under investigation and it is unclear why the Osprey crashed, though landing and taking off from ships at sea is often hard and inherently fraught with danger. Last December, a US military Osprey crash-landed off Japan's southern island of Okinawa.

Twenty-three of the MV-22 Osprey's crew were rescued in a search and rescue operation after the aircraft "entered the water" during "regularly scheduled operations".

The aircraft had been in Queensland, Australia as part of the massive Talisman Sabre joint training exercise between US and Australian armed forces, which ended on July 25.

Twenty-three of them have been rescued, but a search and rescue effort for the remaining three.

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The Australian Department of Defence confirmed there were no Australian personnel on board.

"The United States are leading the search and recovery effort" the statement says.

'Our thoughts are with the crew and families affected'.

The Marine Corps also participates in rotational unit training deployments to Australia, known as Marine Rotational Force-Darwin, or MRF-D.

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An MV-22 Osprey aboard the USS Mesa Verde.

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