US Navy divers, Coast Guard work to recover debris from suspected Chinese spy balloon -

28 March, Tuesday

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US Navy divers, Coast Guard work to recover debris from suspected Chinese spy balloon

F-22 fighter jet shot down balloon Saturday which had been spotted in US airspace off coast of South Carolina

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The US Navy and US Coast Guard deployed personnel to recover debris from a suspected Chinese spy balloon Sunday after it was shot down the previous day by the Air Force over the Atlantic Ocean.
The debris from the balloon fell in waters off the coast of South Carolina with a depth of 47 feet, shallower than officials had expected, so it would be easier to discover, said a senior official according to CNN.
Navy divers will search for the debris, while there are also "unmanned vessels that can go down to get the structure and lift it back up on the recovery ship," the official said.
The official added that they are not sure how long it will take the crews to recover any equipment from the balloon, but it could be "a relatively short time."
The US shot down the suspected spy balloon Saturday after it had been spotted in US airspace off the coast of South Carolina.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the decision was made at the direction of President Joe Biden.
Beijing, however, said the airship had made an unintended entry into US airspace due to force majeure.
Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Senior Col. Tan Kefei said in a statement Sunday that the US attack on a Chinese civilian unmanned airship is an obvious overreaction.
The statement came after a US Air Force F-22 fighter jet fired an AIM-9X air-to-air missile and shot down the balloon, the Pentagon said on its website, despite admitting that the balloon did not pose a military or physical threat, the Chinese daily Global Times reported.

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