Three US Marines feared dead after chopper 'mishap' off Australia coast

MV-22 Osprey

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

Search and rescue operations continue for three U.S. Marines that were aboard an MV-22 Osprey involved in a mishap off of the east coast of Australia around 4:00 p.m. August 5.

The incident happened while "conducting regularly scheduled operations", said a statement from Butler Marine Base in Okinawa, Japan.

Australian Defence Minister Marisa Payne said in a statement that she had spoken with her US counterpart, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and confirmed that no Australian personnel were aboard the aircraft.

Defence Minister Marise Payne has confirmed no Australian Defence Force personnel were involved.

According to the military sources, the Osprey MV-22 helicopter carrying members of the U.S. Marine Corps crashed when it was attempting to land at USS Ronald Reagan, a Nimitz-class, nuclear-powered supercarrier in the service of the United States Navy near the coast of Shoalwater Bay.

The recent joint military exercise took place largely in Shoalwater Bay and involved more than 30,000 U.S. and Australian personnel, according to Australian Defense Department.

Small boats and aircraft are searching the area for the three remaining crew members.

In 2015, a US Osprey crashed during a training exercise in Hawaii, killing two Marines. The Osprey is a tiltrotor aircraft created to be able to take off and land vertically but fly much like a plane at greater speeds than conventional helicopters. Australian troops are among USA -led coalition forces fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.

She had also briefed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and spoken with US Defense Secretary James Mattis to offer Australia's support.

The aircraft was still in Australia after completing a joint U.S.

Search-and-rescue operations are ongoing, and authorities are investigating the crash.

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