Nov. 24 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy has called off the search for the three sailors who weren't immediately recovered from the wreckage of Wednesday's C2-A crash.
Eleven people were on board the C2-A "Greyhound" when the Navy aircraft hit the Pacific some 500 nautical miles southeast of Okinawa on Wednesday afternoon. The plane was conducting a routine flight; it was en route to the USS Ronald Reagan when it crashed.
Eight sailors were recovered in "good condition," the Navy reported, but three remained missing.
A search and rescue mission was led by sailors on the USS Ronald Reagan. The efforts were assisted by units from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. Rescue personnel on ships, helicopters and airplanes were unable to locate the missing sailors.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with our lost shipmates and their families," Rear Adm. Marc Dalton said in an official 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 cause of the crash is under investigation, but Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters engine trouble was likely a factor.