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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - CANBERRA — Four Australia military personnel are missing off the country's northeastern coast after an army helicopter crashed into the ocean, Canberra announced Saturday.
"Defence (Ministry) can confirm an Australian Army MRH-90 Taipan helicopter has impacted waters near Lindeman Island, off the Queensland coast," the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The helicopter was participating in night-time training activities as part of the ongoing Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023 with the US when it was reported missing late Friday night, it said.
"Four crew were on board the aircraft at the time of the incident and are currently missing," the ministry said, adding that the search for the missing crew members continued.
Exercise Talisman Sabre 2023, Australia's largest military exercises with the US, involving some 30,000 military personnel from 13 nations, kicked off on July 22 and will continue until Aug. 4.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Defense Minister Richard Marles said in a joint statement that the families of the missing four air crew had been notified of the incident.
"Our first thoughts are with the loved ones of the missing," it said.
"All Australians hold them in our hearts and we hold onto hope as the search and rescue teams go about their work right now. We have the utmost confidence in their professionalism and skill," said the premier. — Agencies
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