USA navy ends search for 3 sailors missing after plane crash

Nov 26, 2017, 01:05
USA navy ends search for 3 sailors missing after plane crash

Before the crash, the plane was on its way to the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which is operating in the Philippine Sea.

The USS Ronald Reagan led the combined search and rescue efforts with Japanese navy, the U.S. Navy said in a statement. The aircraft was carrying cargo and passengers from the Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni (MCAS Iwakuni) in the Nishiki river delta in Japan to the porter. They are all now in good condition.

A former Navy C-2 pilot told Fox News on Thursday that the fact that eight of the 11 people on board were rescued indicates the pilots performed a feat similar to Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who safely landed a crippled airliner in the Hudson River in January 2009.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with our lost shipmates and their families", Rear Adm. Marc Dalton said in a statement released late Thursday. The cause of the mishap has not yet been determined but an investigation is underway.

The U.S. navy's 7th Fleet said details of the three missing sailors were being withheld pending completion of notification of next of kin procedures.

Seven U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships, three helicopter squadrons and maritime patrol aircraft covered almost 1,000 square nautical miles in the search.

The Navy's Japan-based 7th Fleet has had two fatal accidents in Asian waters this year, leaving 17 sailors dead and prompting the removal of eight top Navy officers from their posts, including the 7th Fleet commander.

The USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker collided near Singapore in August, leaving 10 US sailors dead.

It's been a hard year for the Navy in the western North Pacific after a spate of incidents, most involving ships assigned to the East Asia-based US 7th fleet, that included the deaths of 17 sailors. Last May the USS Fitzgerald collided with a Filipino merchant ship in Japan, which resulted in seven deaths.

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