After an Air Force fighter plane shot down a Chinese high-altitude surveillance balloon over the weekend, the U.S. Navy has begun to gather what is left of it.

After strong seas precluded a safe retrieval on Sunday, the Department of Defense revealed the recovery effort on Monday. It was said to be taking place around 6 miles off the coast of South Carolina in roughly 50 feet of water.

The suspected spy balloon was shot down over the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday by the U.S. Air Force after it had flown southeastward across the country. According to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the Canadian government was involved in planning the mission to shoot down the balloon.

The USNS Pathfinder is utilizing sonar to survey the ocean floor while the USS Carter Hall has begun to gather debris nearby the splashdown site, the Defense Department announced during a briefing on Monday.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command chief, Air Force Gen. Glen VanHerck, stated that ocean currents might make it impossible to gather all of the debris and advised the public against collecting any balloon fragments that wash ashore.

During the briefing on Monday, VanHerck added, “I would remind you that owing to ocean currents, it’s likely that there may be some debris that does float onshore.” “Therefore, we would encourage the general public to refrain from communication. You can assist me with this. To handle any of that debris, immediately get in touch with your local law police.”

The Navy is attempting to create a map that shows the whole debris field, according to a statement from the Defense Department.


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