US Navy Goes Fishing After Great Barrier Reef Bombs

The United States Navy has announced it will retrieve the bombs that were accidentally dropped on the Great Barrier Reef during a botched training exercise. No harm, no foul right? ...Right?

Last week, US officials confirmed that four inert bombs had been dropped on the Great Barrier Reef from two US AV-8B Harrier aircraft. The bombs were originally meant to be dropped onto Townshed Island as part of a training exercise, but an unclear drop zone prompted the pilots to jettison their deadly cargo after running low on fuel. The bombs were unarmed and did not explode but still contain around 1000kg of high explosives between them.

According to a Herald Sun report, a mine detector ship will be brought in to assist with the search alongside specialist navy divers. It is likely that the retrieval operation will be turned into a makeshift training exercise for both navies.

"As partners with our Australian counterparts, and particularly in the context of Exercise Talisman Saber, the US military conscientiously conforms to the proper rules and protocols set forth by Australian military and civilian authorities," the US Navy said in a statement.

"The US military is aware of its professional responsibility to mitigate the environmental impact of its exercises/operations."

Is it just us, or does this official statement come across as a bit mealy-mouthed? As we mentioned in our initial report, we doubt the US would be stoked if a military ally accidentally bombed one of their national treasures. The fact that the bombs are unlikely to explode doesn't make it kosher. Nemo would be pissed.

[Via Herald Sun]



    What is wrong with Gizmodo writers? seriously. I understand you need page views or whatever but come on. They dumped the bombs because they couldn't land safely with them, would you prefer they dump some inert bombs in the ocean or crash their jets and die? seriously, use common sense here.

      Also, if I recall correctly, they were dropped in a sandy area nowhere near a reef. Yay for the media \o/ bunch of twats.

      So, during a training exercise one should have no contingencies in place? If things go pear shaped just drop a tonne of high explosives onto a world heritage listed area.

      Of course they are responsible but, to their credit, they are cleaning up the mess they made.

    It's not as if they were never going to retrieve them either. The Navy is not going to leave a large amount of ordinance on the ocean floor, it's not the 1950s

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