Search For Three Missing Navy Sailors In Philippine Sea Called Off

USS Carl Vinson Transits The Philippine SeaIn this photo provided by the U.S. Navy, the USS Carl Vinson transits the Philippine Sea while conducting a bilateral exercise with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force on April 23, 2017 in the Philippine Sea. The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group is operating as part of U.S. 7th Fleet, but remains deployed under the U.S. 3rd Fleet Forward operating concept, which provides additional options to the Pacific Fleet commander. U.S. Navy aircraft carrier strike groups have patrolled the Indo-Asia-Pacific regularly and routinely for more than 70 years. USN Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Z.A. Landers via Getty Images.

The Navy has ended its search and rescue operations for three missing sailors lost after a C-2A Greyhound crashed Wednesday in the Philippine Sea.

The search was officially called off Thursday at 10 a.m. local Japanese time. The C-2A Greyhound was carrying supplies from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Japan to the USS Ronald Reagan when it went down.

While eight sailors were recovered from the C-2A Greyhound crash immediately, a group of seven Navy and Japan Maritime Self Defense Force ships, in addition to three helicopter squadrons and aircraft, spent two days scouring almost 1000 square nautical miles for the three sailors still missing. The USS Ronald Reagan led the search.

All eight sailors are in good condition after being transferred to the USS Ronald Reagan for medical evaluation.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with our lost shipmates and their families,” said Navy Rear Adm. Marc Dalton, commander of Task Force 70. “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.”

The Navy is withholding the names of the three sailors until their next of kin can be notified.

The C-2A Greyhound crash is the most recent incident in a series of calamities befalling the U.S. 7th Fleet in the Pacific. Earlier this year, a collision between the USS John S. McCain and a merchant ship left 10 sailors dead. The guided-missile destroy USS Fitzgerald collided with a cargo ship in June. Seven sailors died.

As most recently as Saturday, a Japanese tugboat accidentally hit the USS Bendfold. The damage was minor.

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