A team of U.S. Navy divers may be dispatched to retrieve four bombs that were released last week over the Great Barrier Reef, a world-famous coral reef system off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Apparently, the bombs were dumped by U.S. Navy Harrier fighter jets during a training exercise when it was discovered that unauthorized civilian boats were too close to the original bombing target, according to Reuters.
Are the Bombs Dangerous?
The bombs, two of which are inert and two of which are unarmed, were dropped after the training mission was aborted and it became clear that the aircraft could not safely land with the bombs in tow. The U.S. Navy is awaiting word from the Australian government as to whether they should get the bombs or leave them where they fell.
A U.S. Navy spokesman said the bombs were dropped in deep water with the authorization of the Australian Defense Force. The location was selected to minimize damage to the sensitive marine ecosystem of the reef and is not a hazard to shipping, according to a recent article in the New York Times.
If authorized to salvage the bombs, Navy divers would have quite the job on their hands, because each bomb weighs about 500 pounds.
Consider a Career in Commercial Diving
While your future diving career may not entail retrieving massive bombs, Divers Institute of Technology can help you prepare for a globally marketable career in commercial diving or underwater welding in just seven months. For more information about commercial diving programs, call us at 800-634-8377 or contact us online.
Photo courtesy freedigitalphoto.net
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