The U.S. Marine Corps said on Saturday a search and rescue operation was under way for three service members involved in an aviation “mishap” off the east coast of Australia, with 23 others rescued.
The incident involved an MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, the III Marine Expeditionary Force based in Okinawa, Japan said in a statement.
“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,” the statement said.
“The ship’s small boats and aircraft immediately responded in the search and rescue efforts.”
Australia’s Defence Minister said in a statement that no Australian Defence Force personnel were on board. The incident occurred off the coast of Shoalwater Bay, in the State of Queensland, the statement said.
Michael Augustus, a spokesman for Queensland Ambulance, said one person had been taken to Rockhampton hospital, but he gave no further details of the circumstances and no details of the person’s condition.
The Defence Minister, Marise Payne, said she had briefed the U.S. Defence Secretary and the Australian Prime Minister.
More than 33,000 U.S. and Australian military personnel, including the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, participated in the recent Talisman Saber joint military exercise in Australia which ended on July 25.