A search and rescue operation is underway for three US sailors after a C-2A Greyhound carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft crashed in the Pacific Ocean.
The twin-engine C-2A was carrying 11 passengers and crew on a routine transport flight from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan on Wednesday when it crashed about 500nm southeast of the Japanese island of Okinawa.
Eight personnel were rescued by US Navy Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 77, which operates the MH-60S Seahawk, and transferred to the nearby USS Ronald Reagan for medical assessment and were in good condition, the US Navy said in a statement on its website.
However, three sailors were still missing after the accident, with US and Japanese ships and aircraft part of the search effort.
Assets out looking for the trio included US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem, MH-60R Seahawk helicopters and P-8A Poseidon and P-3C Orion aircraft; the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) helicopter carrier Kaga and the JMSDF destroyer Shimakaze.
“A full search and rescue mission is underway for the missing three,” Secretary of the US Navy Richard Spencer said in a statement.
“We are grateful to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) for their assistance, but I would ask that we keep our fellow Navy family members in our thoughts and prayers.”
It is the latest incident involving the US military in the region, following the loss of a US Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey off the coast of Queensland in August.
There were also two fatal collisions at sea between USN destroyers and civilian vessels in the region in June and August this year.