US Navy calls off search for three missing in plane crash

ANI | Updated: Nov 25, 2017 03:09 IST

Washington D.C. [United States], November 25 (ANI): The U.S. Navy has called off search and rescue efforts for three missing sailors two days after their transport plane crashed into the Philippine Sea south of Japan.

The plane was on its way to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.

The Navy has withheld the missing sailors' names until their next of kin have been notified.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with our lost shipmates and their families," reported CNN, citing Rear Adm. Marc Dalton, commander, Task Force 70, as saying.

"As difficult as this is, we are thankful for the rapid and effective response that led to the rescue of eight of our shipmates, and I appreciate the professionalism and dedication shown by all who participated in the search efforts," said the Navy statement, which was released Thursday.

C2-A Greyhound transport plane was carrying a total of 11 people, out of which eight had been rescued and were reportedly in "good condition."

During the two-day search, seven U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships, three helicopter squadrons and maritime patrol aircraft covered nearly 1,000 square nautical miles.

The U.S. Navy's Japan-based 7th Fleet had two fatal accidents in Asian waters this year, leaving 17 sailors dead in total 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 U.S. sailors dead.

Seven sailors died when the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald and a Philippine container ship collided off Japan in June.