Navy divers recover US bombs from Great Barrier Reef
SYDNEY (AFP) - A joint Australian-US Navy dive team recovered bombs dropped by American forces on the Great Barrier Reef during a training exercise in a delicate deep-sea operation, officials said on Sunday.
The divers attached balloons to pull the two unarmed GBU-12 laser guided bombs to the surface in a two day deepwater operation involving strong tides, United States and Australian officials said in a statement.
"The United States and Royal Australian Navies should be congratulated on the successful recovery and disposal of the ordnance, while ensuring that all environmental and safety requirements were met," said Lieutenant General Ash Power, Australian chief of joint operations.
Two other pieces of inert ordnance - cement-filled BDU-45 dummy bombs used for training with no explosive elements - were left on the ocean floor due to the "difficult diving conditions".