The military has called off the search for a missing Marine, who is now presumed to be dead, making him the first American casualty since the U.S. began airstrikes against ISIS.
On Wednesday, the Marine was aboard an MV-22 Osprey along with three other members of the military. The aircraft unexpectedly lost power after taking off from the USS Makin Island in the North Arabian Gulf. The Marine and one of his comrades bailed into the sea, as it looked as though the aircraft would crash.
The Navy issued this statement regarding the personnel aboard the flight:
“There were four personnel aboard the aircraft when it took off, two pilots and two enlisted aircrew. The lost Marine was one of the two enlisted aircrew who exited the aircraft when it appeared the Osprey might crash into the ocean.”
The pilot of the MV-22 Osprey was eventually able to regain control of the plane and land it safely aboard a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship. Immediately, a search began for the two military members who had bailed into the ocean. The process used “all available assets, which continued throughout the night and the next day,” the Navy’s statement continued.
Search-and-rescue crews were able to locate and save one of the men who had bailed out of the plane, but after their tireless efforts throughout the past days, the other was never found. The search was called off at 3:00 p.m. GMT on Friday.
Per U.S. Department of Defense policy, the name of the fallen soldier will not be released until 24 hours after his family has received the disheartening news.
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