Crashed Osprey Personnel Not Found in 3rd Search by Divers; 7 Still Missing as Japan Coast Guard Eyes Further Search

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Self-Defense Forces personnel recover a drifting object at the accident site off Yakushima, Kagoshima Prefecture, at 7:15 a.m. Saturday.

Japan Coast Guard divers conducted a third search on Saturday morning for seven U.S. military personnel who were aboard a CV-22 Osprey aircraft that crashed on Wednesday, but they did not find any of the missing people.

The search was conducted in a sea area about 2.9 kilometers south-southeast of Yakushima Airport on Yakushima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture.

The tilt-rotor transport aircraft crashed at sea east of the island. Among those aboard, one person was confirmed dead and seven are still missing.

The JCG started the third diving search around 8 a.m. Saturday.

The JCG said none of the missing U.S. personnel had been found, and that it aimed to continue underwater searches in the afternoon.

Also, two MV-22 Osprey aircraft — a different model than the Osprey in the accident — arrived at Amami Airport in the prefecture on Saturday morning. The two aircraft belong to the U.S. forces’ Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture.

It is assumed that the two aircraft will go to the sea area where the accident occurred to search for the missing personnel. Around 10:30 a.m., one of the two MV-22 Ospreys took off from the airport.