"Three US Marines have been declared deceased subsequent to extensive search and rescue efforts when an MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft entered the water approximately 18 miles off the coast of the Shoalwater Bay Training Area, Queensland, Australia, the evening of August 5," the release stated on Monday.
Reports earlier, citing defense officials, said search and rescue efforts for the missing Marines were called off and they were presumed dead. Twenty-three of the 26-person crew in the MV-22 Osprey were rescued while the remaining three Marines remained missing after an exhaustive search.
The MV-22 Osprey crashed due to a mishap while trying to land on the USS Green Bay, reports said.
The deceased Marines were identified as 1st Lt. Benjamin Cross, 26, of Oxford, Maine; Cpl. Nathaniel Ordway, 21, of Sedgwick, Kansas; Pfc. Ruben Velasco, 19, of Los Angeles, California.