SYDNEY — The submerged wreckage of a U.S. military aircraft was found on Monday, two days after it crashed into the sea off the east coast of Australia and left three U.S. Marines presumed dead, Australia’s defense minister said.
An Australian navy ship arrived in Shoalwater Bay in Queensland state Sunday night to help the U.S. military hunt for the MV-22 Osprey, which the Marines said was conducting regularly scheduled operations on Saturday when it crashed into the water. The wreckage was found shortly thereafter, Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne said in a statement.
An Australian navy dive team plans to start the process of recovering the plane Monday night, the U.S. Marine base Camp Butler in Japan said in a statement.
Three Marines remain missing. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps called off a search-and-rescue operation for them on Sunday and launched a recovery effort instead, essentially confirming the military does not expect to find them alive.
Twenty-three other personnel who were on board the Osprey when it crashed were rescued.
The Osprey is a tilt-rotor aircraft that takes off and lands like a helicopter, but flies like an airplane. They have been involved in a series of high-profile crashes in recent years.