Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey crashes off Queensland

File image of MV-22s operating form USS Bonhomme Richard. (Defence)

UPDATED: Three US Marines have died after their MV-22B Osprey crashed while exercising in the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area, north of Rockhampton, Queensland on Saturday.

The Osprey, from the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (VMM-265) ‘Dragons’ based in Japan and assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, crashed after launching from the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard at around 4pm.

In a statement, the 31st Marine Expeditionary Force said the Osprey, with 26 personnel aboard, was conducting “regularly scheduled operations” when the tiltrotor entered the water.

“The ship’s small boats and aircraft immediately responded in the search and rescue efforts,” read the statement.

“Twenty-three of 26 personnel aboard have been rescued. The circumstances of the mishap are currently under investigation. There is no additional information available at this time.”

Then around midday on Sunday, the 31st Marine Expeditionary Force provided an update on the accident confirming three of the Osprey’s crew were fatally injured in the accident.

“Operations have now shifted to recovery efforts,” the 31st Marine Expeditionary Force said.

“The next-of-kin for the three missing Marines have been notified. 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.”

On Saturday evening Defence Minster Senator Marise Payne confirmed that there were no Australian Defence Force personnel on board the Osprey.

“I have briefed Prime Minister Turnbull and spoken with Secretary Mattis this evening to offer Australia’s support in anyway that can be of assistance,” said Senator Payne in a statement.

“Our thoughts are with the crew and families affected.”

The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit shared photos on Twitter of an Osprey conducting training from the USS Bonhomme Richard off the coast of Shoalwater Bay a day prior to the accident.

MV-22B Ospreys from VMM-265 and the USS Bonhomme Richard had recently participated in Exercise Talisman Saber, which concluded in late July.

Comments

  1. Mick181 says

    The price that sometimes has to be payed for the security of Nations

    RIP
    Semper Fidelis

  2. James says

    RIP to those crew and sincere condolences to the families. I hope that they are recovered so they can go home.

  3. says

    Dear Marines, Australias support and condolences are with you and the families at this hard time. Thankyou from Australia for your dedication and your second home Australia.

  4. Philip says

    My sincere condolences to the families of the USA Marines lost, and to those affected by this tragedy.
    I also hope that they can be recovered soon and returned to their loved ones.

    Thank you for your service and commitment to the continuing security of this region.

  5. Raymond says

    Love from your great friend, Australia, to the USMC, especially to the families and others affected.

    Our thoughts and gratitude for everything you do for our collective freedom.