Searchers were combing a wooded area Tuesday in southeastern North Carolina looking for a Marine who fell from a military aircraft during a training exercise, officials said.
The searchers, including sheriff’s deputies and civilian emergency personnel, are looking through the woods in Bladen County, about 45 miles west of New River Air Station. The Marine fell from an MV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft about 6:30 p.m. Monday.
“While the cause of the mishap is under investigation, our first priority is to locate our missing comrade,” said a statement from officials at the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. “We ask that everyone keep this Marine in their prayers and that you do nothing to hinder the efforts of the authorities involved in the search.”
The Osprey can hover like a helicopter and cruise like a fixed-wing aircraft. It can take off and land vertically and has short takeoff and landing capability.
By Tuesday morning, officials were concentrating their efforts in the White Lake area and the surrounding woods.