3 US Marines missing after aircraft crashes off Australia coast

 SYDNEY (AP) -- U.S. military officials have called off a search and rescue operation for three U.S. Marines who were missing after their Osprey aircraft crashed into the sea off the east coast of Australia while trying to land.

The U.S. Marine base Camp Butler in Japan says in a statement the rescue operation was suspended on Sunday morning. The military has launched a recovery effort instead and the missing Marines' next of kin had been notified.

The MV-22 Osprey had launched from the USS Bonhomme Richard and was conducting regularly scheduled operations on Saturday when it crashed into the water. Twenty-three of 26 personnel aboard the aircraft were rescued.

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   Search and rescue operations are underway for three U.S. Marines who are missing after their Osprey aircraft crashed into the sea off the east coast of Australia while trying to land.

   The Marine base Camp Butler in Japan said that 23 of 26 personnel aboard the aircraft have been rescued after Saturday's crash.

   The MV-22 Osprey involved in the mishap was conducting regularly scheduled operations when it crashed into the water. The ship's small boats and aircraft immediately responded in the search and rescue efforts, according to the statement.

   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.

   The aircraft was in Australia for a joint military training exercise held by the U.S. and Australia last month.

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