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US Navy ends search for 3 missing sailors in plane crash near PH Sea

FILE - In this March 14, 2017, file photo, a U.S. Navy C-2 Greyhound approaches the deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson during the annual joint military exercise called Foal Eagle between South Korea and the United States at an unidentified location in the international waters, east of the Korean Peninsula. A similar type of the U.S. Navy plane carrying 11 crew and passengers crashed into the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017, while on the way to the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, the Navy said. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File)

The search has ended for the three missing sailors who were not immediately recovered after a Navy aircraft crashed near the Philippine Sea, the United States Navy said on Friday.

The sailors, whose names were withheld pending completion of next of kin notifications, went missing after a C-2A Greyhound crashed on Wednesday into the ocean southeast of Okinawa, Japan.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with our lost shipmates and their families,” said Rear Adm. Marc Dalton, Commander, Task Force 7, in a statement.

“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 US Navy official also said.

Eight sailors were immediately recovered from the crash and transferred to Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier for medical evaluation. All are now in good condition as of posting time, the U.S. Navy said.       /kga

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