Great Barrier Reef bombed by US jets

US jets on a training exercise – said to have gone wrong – have dropped  four 500lb  bombs on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The bombs are said to have been unarmed and did not explode – apparently.

BBC: US fighter jets dropped inert bombs on the Great Barrier Reef off Australia’s coast during a training exercise that went wrong, it has emerged. The two planes jettisoned four bombs in more than 50m (165 ft) of water, away from coral, to minimise damage to the World Heritage Site, the US navy said.

The jets had intended to drop at a bombing range on a nearby island, but Tuesday’s mission was aborted. The AV-8B Harriers were low on fuel and could not land loaded, the navy added. The emergency happened during the training exercise Talisman Saber, involving US and Australian military personnel. The two jets had been instructed to target the bombing range on Townshend Island. However, the mission was aborted when hazards were reported in the area.

The planes then dropped the bombs in the marine park off the coast of Queensland. None of the devices exploded.

blog post photo

King of the Coral Reef

The Reef put up no resistance and is expected to surrender shortly, The worlds largest coral reef is known to harbour many dangerous species. It is uncertain if any are affiliated to Al Qaeda. The King of the Coral Reef was unavailable for comment.

The animals of the Great Barrier Reef include some 1500 species of marine fish, 360 species of hard corals, between 5000 and 8000 species of mollusks, 600 species of echinoderms, 17 species of sea snakes, 1500 species of sponges, 30 species of whales and dolphins, 6 species of marine turtles, 22 species of seabirds and 32 species of shorebirds which breed on the reef’s many small islands.

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