The U.S. Navy announced early Wednesday that a plane carrying 11 people that was on its way to the USS Ronald Reagan crashed into the Pacific Ocean.
The good news is that 8 people have been rescued and are listed in good condition.
8 personnel recovered following C2-A crash have been transferred to #USSRonaldReagan for medical evaluation and are in good condition. Search and rescue efforts for three personnel continue with @USNavy and #JMSDF ships and aircraft on scene. https://t.co/uuIWd9SUSF pic.twitter.com/rvFC81Qbqq
— 7th Fleet (@US7thFleet) November 22, 2017
The bad news is that three remain unaccounted for.
The Navy’s Japan-based 7th Fleet said in a statement that a search and rescue operation was launched from the carrier.
“Personnel recovery is underway and their condition will be evaluated by USS Ronald Reagan medical staff,” the statement said.
The C-2 “Greyhound” aircraft crashed into the Pacific about 150 kilometers (90 miles) northwest of Okinotorishima, a Japanese atoll, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said, according to a ministry spokesman.
The Navy said the ship was operating in the Philippine Sea, which is east of the Philippines, when the crash occurred at 2:45 p.m. Japan time. The names of the crew and passengers are being withheld pending next of kin notification.
The cause of the crash was not immediately clear, the Navy said.
The plane was taking part in an ongoing joint U.S.-Japan naval exercise in waters surrounding Okinawa from Nov. 16-26. The Navy called it the “premier training event” between the two navies, designed to increase defensive readiness and interoperability in air and sea operations.
The 7th Fleet in June notified families of the seven sailors who drowned after a 29,060-ton container ship called the ACX Crystal collided with the USS Fitzgerald.
— 7th Fleet (@US7thFleet) June 18, 2017
The Navy identified the deceased as follows: Gunner’s Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, of Palmyra, Va.; Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, of San Diego, Calif.; Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T. Truong Huynh, 25, of Oakville, Conn.; Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26, of Weslaco, Texas; Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlosvictor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, of Chula Vista, Calif.; Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, of Halethorpe, Md; Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, of Elyria, Ohio.
Divers found the missing sailors after they were able to gain access to parts of the USS Fitzgerald that were damaged in the collision.
Two months later, the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker collided, killing 10 U.S. sailors.
The remains of all 10 USS John McCain Sailors have been recovered. May they all rest in peace. Salute x 10 to our fallen heroes. pic.twitter.com/uIvlmBNA7l
— Ava- I Love My USA! 🇺🇸 (@WEdwarda) August 28, 2017
The deceased in that incident: Electronics Technician 1st Class Charles Nathan Findley, 31, Amazonia, Mo.; Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Abraham Lopez, 39, El Paso; Electronics Technician 2nd Class Kevin Sayer Bushell, 26, Gaithersburg, Md.; Electronics Technician 2nd Class Jacob Daniel Drake, 21, Cable, Ohio; Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Timothy Thomas Eckels Jr., 23, Manchester, Md.; Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Corey George Ingram, 28, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Electronics Technician 3rd Class Dustin Louis Doyon, 26, Suffield, Conn.; Electronics Technician 3rd Class John Henry Hoagland III, 20, Killeen, Tex.; Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Logan Stephen Palmer, 23, Decatur, Ill.; Electronics Technician 3rd Class, Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22, Cherry Hill, N.J.
The Navy dismissed three-star commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, in August after “los[ing] confidence in his ability to command.”
The prior ship collisions were deemed avoidable, widespread failures by the crews and commanders, who didn’t quickly recognize and respond to unfolding emergencies. A Navy report recommended numerous changes to address the problems, ranging from improved training to increasing sleep and stress management for sailors.
The White House had not, at the time of this writing, reacted to the plane crash.
President Donald Trump was active on Twitter early Wednesday.
Some criticized him for attacking LaVar Ball instead of addressing the USS Ronald Reagan incident.
Im not surprised. Trump is tweeting about Lavar Ball and Don King instead of the troops lost at sea heading to the USS Ronald Reagan. Umm. Ok.. i guess that doesnt matter
— JJHasNoGame (@JJHasNoGame) November 22, 2017
The USS Ronald Reagan is out rescuing sailors from a plane crash and the President of the United States is tweeting about Lavar Ball looking like a poor man’s Don King pic.twitter.com/PF2hoHkexe
— Henchwoman (@mallsta) November 22, 2017
Eventually, Trump did tweet about the situation, offering prayers for those involved.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.