At least one person is dead after a U.S. military Osprey aircraft crashed near the coast of Japan Wednesday, the Japan Coast Guard said.
Eight people were aboard the aircraft when it went down around 2:47 p.m. local time. Shortly after the crash, the 10th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters said it dispatched a patrol boat and aircraft to the crash scene, CNN reported. The aircraft crashed into the ocean near the island of Yakushima, which is about 45 miles south of the southern main Japanese island of Kyushu, a coast guard spokesperson told NBC News.
The Japanese Coast Guard said one man was recovered “unconscious and was not breathing” near the site of the crash. He was given CPR and taken to Anbo Port, which was nearly two miles away, but the Osprey crew member was later pronounced dead. No details were given on the status of the other seven crew members.
Japan’s Vice Defense Minister Hiroyuki Miyazawa said the incident involved a U.S. Air Force CV-22 Osprey and called the incident an “emergency water landing.”
“The U.S. side explained to us that the pilot did his best until the very end, so we’re using the term ‘emergency water landing,’” Miyazawa said.
The CV-22 Osprey can take off vertically like a helicopter while boasting the long-range flight capability of a turboprop aircraft. Its two rotors remain vertical during takeoff and landing and can rotate 90 degrees once the aircraft is in flight, allowing it to fly like a rotor-powered plane.
Wednesday’s crash marks the third tragedy in the last two years involving U.S. military personnel flying an Osprey aircraft. In August, three Marines were killed and several more were seriously injured when their MV-22B Osprey, which is similar to the CV-22, crashed on a northern Australian island while carrying 23 troops.
In June of 2022, all five Marines aboard an MV-22B Osprey died after it crashed in California, a few miles north of the U.S./Mexico border. A few months before that crash, four Marines were killed in Norway during a NATO training exercise after their MV-22B Osprey went down in the Arctic Circle.
This article has been updated after officials said there were eight, not six, crew members on board the aircraft.