US Navy calls off search for Marine missing from USS Essex

A Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) looks for the missing Marine assigned to 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) while riding in an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter conducting search and rescue operations. Photo: US Navy

The US Navy has called off the search for a Marine who was reported missing from amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD-2) on August 9.

The Marine, assigned to the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked aboard USS Essex, is presumed dead after the US Navy announced the end of search and rescue efforts on Tuesday.

In a 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit statement, first reported by USNI News, US Navy Capt. Gerald Olin said the search and rescue effort was being concluded “only after exhausting every possibility through persistent and thorough operations.”

Multiple searches inside the ship were carried out while embarked aircraft aboard the USS Essex conducted round-the-clock search and rescue operations within the Sulu Sea and Surigao Strait. In addition, US Navy P-8 aircraft, Philippine Coast Guard vessels, and Singaporean authorities supported the efforts.

The US Navy said an investigation into the incident was now underway and the Marine’s family has been notified.

USS Essex and ships from its amphibious ready group are currently on a deployment which started on July 10 as the ships and the embarked 13th MEU got underway from San Diego.

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