Search continues for US Marine reported overboard near Philippines

The USS Essex in the Pacific Ocean in April. The Navy says Marine went overboard on the ship Thursday

The USS Essex in the Pacific Ocean in April. The Navy says Marine went overboard on the ship Thursday

At the time, the Essex was "conducting routine operations in the Sulu Sea", according to the statement.

The United States Navy reported that they are now conducting an "all-hands effort" search for a United States Marine that fell overboard while the ship he was on was conduction operations off the coast of the Philippines in the Sulu Sea.

Aircraft on board the USS Essex are searching waters off the Sulu Sea and the Surigao Strait while multiple searches are also being made inside the ship itself, the unit said.

The Marine, who was aboard the amphibious assault ship Essex with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, was reported overboard at 9:40 a.m.

The Philippine government facilitated diplomatic clearance for USA assets involved in the search and rescue operation.

"A USA marine fell from a United States ship while traversing Philippine waters". The Navy says Marine went overboard on the ship Thursday.

"As of now there has been no update on whether the marine has been recovered", Lorenzana added.

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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.

"We initially dispatched air search and rescue team during the first few hours after it was reported but without positive result", said Western Mindanao Command chief Lieutenant General Arnel dela Vega.

Officials did not release the Marine's name, but said his or her family has been notified.

In Manila, Philippine authorities said on Saturday they authorised USA ships and aircraft to enter Philippine territory to join in the search, while dispatching their own military search aircraft.

Col. Chandler Nelms, the commanding officer of the unit, asked people to keep the Marine and the Marine's family in their thoughts and prayers.

It is an all-hands effort to find our missing Marine.

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