The U.S. Navy offered Australia assistance retrieving four bombsthat were mistakenly dropped inside the Great Barrier Reef marine park last week, Reuters reported.
Civilian boats were allegedly spotted near their original target causing U.S. Navy Harrier fighter jets to drop the bombs, two inert and two carrying explosives but not armed.
Commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet Vice Admiral Scott Swift said the decision on whether to leave the bombs or retrieve them was up to the Australian government. The bombs were lying in 50 to 60 meters of water, posed little risk to the reef or shipping and could easily be picked up by Navy divers, the Navy said.
The aircraft were participating in Operation Talisman Saber, a joint exercise sponsored by U.S. Pacific Command and Australian Defense Force (ADF) Headquarters Joint Operations Command involving roughly 30,000 personnel from the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Airforce, the ADF and other government agencies from both countries, mainly near Northern Australia.
Source: Reuters, U.S. Navy, staff