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Australian Navy Locates Crashed U.S. Marine Osprey Plane

The wreckage of a U.S. Marine Osprey has been found underwater off the coast of northeast Australia. The aircraft had taken off from the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship, seen here during exercises earlier this summer.

A U.S. Osprey aircraft that crashed on Saturday has been located in waters off Australia's east coast. The Australian navy found the wreck on Monday, one day after a search and rescue effort for the final three missing Marines aboard the plane was suspended.

The rescue effort had saved 23 of the 26 service members who were on the plane when it went down on Saturday, in what the Marines called a "mishap."

The MV-22 Osprey had taken off from the USS Bonhomme Richard, an amphibious assault ship. The wreckage was located in Shoalwater Bay off Queensland by the HMAS Melville, a Royal Australian Navy survey ship, shortly after the Melville arrived to help in the search effort.

After the discovery, a diving team was sent to the area and landed on the Melville; the divers "will conduct remotely operated underwater vehicle operations beginning this evening," says Minister for Defense Marise Payne.

The Osprey was part of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, which is based in Okinawa, Japan.

"The next-of-kin for the three missing Marines have been notified," the U.S. Marines said in announcing that the operation was moving into a recovery phase rather than a rescue operation. The service has said that the cause of the crash is under investigation.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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