Two branches of the United States military are searching for a missing U.S. Marine in the seas southeast of the Philippines, officials announced Friday.
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The unidentified Marine, with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendelton in San Diego’s North County, was reported overboard at 9:40 a.m. Thursday while USS Essex was conducting routine operations in the Sulu Sea, 13th MEU Capt. Diann Rosenfield said.
The ship’s crew launched a search and rescue operation that has been joined by the U.S. Navy and Philippine Coast Guard ships, Rosenfield said.
The search enters its second day Friday and has covered roughly 3,000 square nautical miles, Rosenfield said.
“It is an all-hands effort to find our missing Marine,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Gerald Olin, on-scene commander of the search and rescue operation. “All of our Sailors, Marines, and available assets aboard the USS Essex have been and will continue to be involved in this incredibly important search and rescue operation.”
Searches have been conducted inside the ship while an aircraft aboard the USS Essex has conducted round-the-clock search and rescue operations in the Sulu Sea and Surigao Strait, Rosenfield said.
The Marine’s family has been notified but the name was being withheld while the search is ongoing, Rosenfield said.
USS Essex is homeported at Naval Base San Diego.
–City News Service
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