The Navy reported that at or around 3:23 p.m., local time, or 1:32 a.m., East Coast time, its rescuers secured eight of the 11 individuals aboard a C2-A Greyhound aircraft, which crashed roughly an hour earlier 500 miles southeast of Okinawa.
The aircraft was conducting a routine transport flight carrying passengers and cargo from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni to USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Reagan is operating in the Philippine Sea as part of an exercise with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, according to a statement from the Navy.
Personnel and assets of the JMSDF are participating in the search and rescue operations, the Navy said. All eight of the individuals rescued at sea were taken to USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).
The Navy said the incident will be investigated.
The crash comes two days after U.S. Forces Japan issued a ban on all military personnel stationed on Okinawa and from consuming alcohol.
Effective immediately, U.S. service members on Okinawa are restricted to base and to their residences. Until further notice, alcohol consumption is prohibited. This includes in residences and public locations such as bars and clubs, and hotels. Additionally, U.S. service members on mainland Japan are prohibited from purchasing or consuming alcohol, on or off base.
The prohibition follows a Sunday morning accident in Naha, Okinawa, when a Marine driving with three times the legal limit crashed his truck into a vehicle driven by a local man, killing him.
Saturday, USS Benhold was struck by a drifting tugboat, which lost propulsion during a scheduled towing exercise nin Japan’s Sagami Bay.
Neither the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer nor the local commercial tugboat sustained serious damage and no one was injured.
The Navy reported that Benhold remains at sea under her own power.
After a serious of collisions and accidents, Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Scott Swift Aug. 23 relieved Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin of command of 7th Fleet, due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command.
When Aucoin was relieved the Navy was still recovering victims from a deadly Aug. 21 collision between USS McCain and the container ship Alnic MC.