Rescue underway after US Marine aircraft ‘mishap’ off the coast of Australia

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SINGAPORE – FEBRUARY 13: A U.S. Marine MV-22B Osprey is displayed at the Singapore Airshow on February 13, 2014 in Singapore. The Singapore air show is held every year and is one of the most important aerospace and defense exhibitions in the world. (Photo by Yuli Seperi/Getty Images)

US military aircraft and boats are scouring waters off Australia’s east coast Saturday for US service members involved in what the Marines Corps is calling a “mishap” with an MV-22 aircraft.

It’s unclear how many service members were on board at the time.

Small boats and aircraft from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group are carrying out the search and rescue operation, the US Marine Corps said.

The incident took place during a training exercise the Marines were conducting with the Australian military, CNN’s Barbara Starr reports. The MV-22, also known as an Osprey, was attempting to land on a ship.

Early indications suggest some service members have been rescued, Starr reports, but the military hasn’t confirmed that.

In a statement, Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne said she had spoken to US Defense Secretary James Mattis to offer Australia’s support in “any way that can be of assistance.”

Australian authorities said the incident happened in Shoalwater Bay and that no Australian personnel were on board.

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