Third dead US Marine was a teenager

August 08, 2017

The wreckage of a US helicopter that crashed off the Queensland coast has been found.

Dive teams are attempting to recover the submerged wreckage a US military aircraft that went down in waters off the central Queensland coast, leaving three Marines presumed dead.

The tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey plunged into the sea at Shoalwater Bay, near Rockhampton, during a scheduled military exercise on Saturday.

Late on Monday, Defence Minister Marise Payne said the HMAS Melville had located the aircraft.

The Royal Australian Navy dive clearance team finalised recovery plans with the US forces and were scheduled to start recovery using a remote operating vehicle on Monday night, a spokesperson for the USMC told AAP.

The commanding general of the III Marine Expeditionary Force, Lieutenant General Lawrence Nicholson, thanked the Australian Defence Force for their help in the recovery efforts.

"They volunteered their help before we could even ask, demonstrating their friendship and value as international partners," Lt Gen Nicholson said.

"The crew of the Melville and its assets have been invaluable in the recovery effort. On behalf of the Marines, sailors, and families of III MEF, I thank you for your support."

There were 26 people aboard the aircraft, but only 23 were rescued.

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