An early warning aircraft stationed on board the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D Eisenhower crashed into the waters of the Gulf on Wednesday, according to a statement from the US Navy 5th Fleet Command.

“An E—2C Hawkeye from Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121 stationed aboard USS Dwight D Eisenhower (CVN 69) crashed at sea at approximately 2:00 pm (1100 GMT) March 31 while operating in the North Arabian Sea,” the statement said.

“Three of the four crew members have been recovered and search and rescue efforts for the fourth crew member are currently underway.” According to the statement, the E—2C was returning from operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) when the aircraft experienced mechanical malfunctions. The crew was forced to do a controlled bail—out.

The identities of the crewmen involved are being withheld pending notification of next—of—kin. An investigation is underway.

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