Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • Besieged UN peacekeepers battle Islamists in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • EU leaders meet in Brussels to seek a response to Russia

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • Lesotho army seizes police HQ, jams radio stations

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Chelsea’s Torres set for AC Milan switch

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' against IS militants in Syria

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

Asia-pacific

US Navy may recover bombs on Barrier Reef

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-07-22

The US Navy said Monday that it may salvage four unarmed bombs dropped on Australia's Great Barrier Reef last week when a training exercise went wrong. The bombs are believed to be of low environmental risk.

The U.S. Navy said on Monday it is considering salvaging four unarmed bombs dropped by U.S. fighter jets into Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park last week when a training exercise went wrong.

The two AV-8B Harrier jets launched from the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard during joint exercises with the Australian military each jettisoned an inert, concrete-filled practice bomb and an unarmed laser-guided explosive bomb into the World Heritage-listed marine park off the coast of Queensland state on Tuesday. None exploded.

The Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest network of coral structures, is rich in marine life and stretches more than 3,000 kilometers (1,800 miles) along Australia’s northeast coast.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the government manager of the 345,400 square kilometer (133,360 square miles) protected marine zone, said in a statement that identifying options for the “rapid recovery” of the bombs so that they could pose no risk to the marine park was “a high priority.”

But the authority also said the ordnances posed a “low risk to the marine environment.”

“Based on where the ordnance have been dropped in a location that is in water around 50 meters (164 feet) deep, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from the nearest reef and 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the shoreline, the immediate impact on the marine environment is thought to be negligible,” the statement said.

U.S. 7th Fleet spokesman Lt. David Levy said Monday the Navy was currently reviewing the possibility of retrieving the ordnances in consultation with Australian authorities.

“If the park service and the government agencies of Australia determine that they want those recovered, then we will coordinate with them on that recovery process,” Levy said in an email.

Levy could not say whether the bombs were damaged or what the effect of long-term immersion in seawater could be.

The four bombs, weighing a total of 900 kilograms (2,000 pounds), were dropped in deep water away from coral to minimize possible damage to the reef, the Navy said.

The jets from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit had intended to drop the ordnances on the Townshend Island bombing range, but aborted the mission when controllers reported civilian boats in the way.

The pilots conducted the emergency jettison because they were low on fuel and could not land with their bomb load, the Navy said.

The authority that manages the marine park said the risk of any bomb detonating was “extremely low.”

The emergency happened on the second day of the biennial joint training exercise Talisman Saber, which brings together 28,000 U.S. and Australian military personnel over three weeks.

The Navy and Marine Corps were working with Australian authorities to investigate the incident, the Navy said.

Australian Sen. Larissa Waters, the influential Greens party’s spokeswoman on the Great Barrier Reef, described the dumping of bombs in such an environmentally sensitive area as “outrageous” and said it should not be allowed.

“Have we gone completely mad?” she told Australian Broadcasting Corp. “Is this how we look after our World Heritage area now? Letting a foreign power drop bombs on it?”

(AP)

Date created : 2013-07-22

  • ENVIRONMENT

    World's coral reefs face extinction

    Read more

  • KOREAN PENINSULA

    US Navy deploys missile destroyer to Korean coast

    Read more

COMMENT(S)