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3 Marines missing after aircraft ‘mishap’ off Australia

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

Twenty-three of the 26 personnel on board have been rescued, the US Marine Corps said.

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 according to the US Marine Corps.

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 “anyway that can be of assistance.”

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