Navy calls off search for missing Osprey crew member

INDIAN OCEAN (Sept. 9, 2014) Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Ma Paula Fuerte, from Murfreesboro, Tenn., signals an MV-22 Osprey to launch from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8). Makin Island, the flagship of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, is on a deployment with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit to promote peace and freedom of the seas by providing security and stability in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher Lindahl/Released)

A Marine who jumped from a MV-22 Osprey helicopter that lost power over the Arabian Gulf Wednesday is presumed dead and the Navy has called off the search.

A release Thursday said that all available forces searched through the night and into the next day before breaking off at 10 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The missing Marine, assigned to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, has not been identified.

The Osprey temporarily lost power during takeoff from the amphibious assault ship Makin Island over the Arabian Gulf, according to a 5th Fleet press release. The pilot regained control of the aircraft, returned to the ship and landed safely, but not before two members of the crew jumped off into the water, the 5th Fleet said.

One member was recovered and is in stable condition aboard the ship. U.S. Navy ships, aircraft and boats began sweeping the area in a search-and-rescue effort for the other crew member, but no trace of the missing Marine was found. The cause of the power outage aboard the Osprey is under investigation.

The 11th MEU consists of a headquarters command element; Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 163 (Reinforced) as its aviation element; grunts in the ground element of Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines; and Combat Logistics Battalion 11.

The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group deployed to the Middle East from its home port of San Diego July 25 to support operations in the Central Command area of responsibility. It includes the dock landing ship Comstock and the amphibious transport dock San Diego, which is on its maiden deployment.

In all, there are more than 4,000 Marines and sailors with the unit.


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