The US Marine Corps has declared death of three missing marines after US military aircraft Osprey V-22 tilt rotor aircraft ditched into waters off Australia’s east coast on Saturday. The aircraft belonged to the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265, nicknamed the Dragons.
The Marine Corps base in Camp Butler, Okinawa identified the three as 1st Lt. Benjamin Cross, 26, Cpl. Nathaniel Ordway, 21, and Pfc. Ruben Velasco, 19.
The three were declared dead after “extensive search and rescue efforts” around the crash site, around 18 miles off the coast of the Shoalwater Bay Training Area, Queensland, Australia. Their remains were not recovered, Marine Expeditionary Unit spokeswoman Lt. Christina Metzler confirmed to CNN.
The MV-22 Osprey involved in a ‘mishap’ at around 16:00 Australian Eastern Standard Time on Saturday along with twenty-six crew members on board. The Marine Corps were successful to rescue twenty-three out of 26 Marines.US military aircraft and boats scoured ocean waters off Australia searching without success for the three missing Marines. The families of the missing Marines have been notified, the military said.
The search was continued throughout the night but was called off Sunday morning. After the search was suspended, the servicemen’s family members were notified of their deaths. The Marine Corps said that the circumstances of the crash, which it had termed a mishap, were under investigation. There were no updates on the cause by Tuesday morning.