USS Essex Marine Overboard Near Philippines

 In Military

The US Navy, Marine Corps, along with Philippine ships and aircraft have been searching for a member of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit who reportedly fell overboard from the USS Essex. Search and rescue efforts have continued since Thursday morning, according to the Washington Times.

The incident occurred at roughly 9:40 a.m. local time on August 9 in the Sulu Sea. The 13th MEU was conducting joint drills along the Philippine’s southwest coastline. The USS Essex, a Marine Amphibious ship, immediately began checking both the inside of the vessel and the ocean surrounding. The ship was reportedly conducting “routine” operations in the area. The Marine’s name is being withheld while search operations are ongoing.

Stripes reported,

It is an all-hands effort to find our missing Marine,” said Navy Capt. Gerald Olin, commander of Amphibious Squadron One and the on-scene commander of the search-and-rescue efforts. “All of our sailors, Marines and available assets aboard the USS Essex have been and will continue to be involved in this incredibly important search and rescue operation.”

Crew members conducted several searches inside the vessel, while aircraft embarked on the Essex have been used “round-the-clock” to search the Sulu Sea and Surigao Strait from above, the statement said.

The Navy also sent P-8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft to expand the search area with the help of Philippine Coast Guard vessels. Altogether, the search-and-rescue efforts stretch about 3,000 nautical miles, according to the statement.

Col. Chandler Nelms, commander of the 13th MEU, said servicemembers “remain committed to searching for and finding our Marine.”

Featured photo: US Pacific Fleet photo via Twitter

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