By: Gidget Fuentes
This post has been updated with a statement from U.S. 3rd Fleet.
A Navy P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol airplane is in Hawaii’s Kaneohe Bay after attempting to land on a Marine Corps runway Monday afternoon, according to Marine Corps officials.
The P-8A reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft was on approach to land on the runway at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay on the island of Oahu.
“The aircraft was landing and overshot” the runway, said 1st Lt. Hailey Harms, a Marine Corps Base Hawaii spokesperson, told USNI News.
The aircraft, assigned to the Whidbey Island, Wash.-based “Skinny Dragons” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 4″ landed at 1:59 p.m. local Hawaii time and ended up in shallow water just off the coast. The air station’s main runway runs in a northeast-to-southwest direction.
“At approximately 2 p.m. local (Hawaii), a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon overshot the runway on landing at Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, and ended up in nearby water,” reads a statement from U.S. 3rd Fleet.
“All personnel safely evacuated the aircraft. The crew, assigned to Whidbey Island, Wash.-based squadron VP-4 ‘Skinny Dragons,” were on a detachment in support of maritime homeland defense.”
Nine people were aboard the aircraft at the time but no immediate injuries were reported.
“They are still being medically assessed,” Harms said.
Base emergency services quickly responded to the scene, including federal firefighters, military police, air traffic control, fire rescue and waterfront operations, she said.
The Honolulu Fire Department sent out the initial alert just after 2 p.m. for a “probable aircraft fire incident,” local KITV Channel 4 reported.
It’s unclear yet what the next step will be in recovering the aircraft and which agencies will be involved in investigating the incident.
“That’s still being assessed, as well,” Harms said.
Images posted on Hawaii News Now show the white airplane surrounded by water some 50 yards offshore. The bay’s depth in that area ranges from 5 to 25 feet, according to nautical charts. Sand, mud and coral cover much of the bottom of the picturesque bay.
“An investigation will be initiated. More details will be released as they become available,” reads the 3rd Fleet statement.
Along with hunting submarines, the P-8A Poseidon – the aircraft is based on the Boeing 737 airplane – is used for anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and humanitarian response missions, according to the Navy.