The U.S. Navy has called off search and rescue efforts for three missing sailors who were on board a C-2A “Greyhound” transport aircraft two days after it crashed into the Philippine Sea.
During the two-day search for the missing crew members, eight U.S. Navy and JMSDF ships, three helicopter squadrons, and maritime patrol aircraft were deployed to search over 1,000 square nautical miles. Initially, eight crew members were rescued about 40 minutes after the aircraft crashed.
The Navy tweeted that the victims were recovered and “transferred to #USSRonaldReagan for medical evaluation and are in good condition.”
8 personnel recovered following C2-A crash have been transferred to #USSRonaldReagan for medical evaluation and are in good condition. Search and rescue efforts for three personnel continue with @USNavy and #JMSDF ships and aircraft on scene. https://t.co/uuIWd9SUSF pic.twitter.com/rvFC81Qbqq— 7th Fleet (@US7thFleet) November 22, 2017
“Our thoughts and prayers are with our lost shipmates and their families,” Rear Adm. Marc Dalton, Commander, Task Force 70, said in a statement Wednesday, with news of the search being called off. "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.”
President Donald Trump also tweeted Wednesday, “We are monitoring the situation. Prayers for all involved.”
The Navy has withheld the missing sailors’ names until their next of kin have been notified.
The C-2A twin-propeller airplane was transporting passengers and cargo from Japan to the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier as a part of a joint exercise between the U.S. and Japanese navies.
The Japan-based 7th Fleet has experienced two other fatal incidents in the last six months. In June, the USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine container ship killing 7 sailors. Two months later in August, the USS McCain collided with a merchant ship killing 10 crew members.