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Coast Guard reveals scope of recovery mission for airborne object

Edited MAckinaw 2.jpg
Wikimedia Commons
The Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw was one of the vessels deployed into Lake Huron to search for the airborne object that was shot down by an F-16 fighter jet on Feb. 12.

The U.S. Coast Guard has released details today on efforts to recover the airborne object that was shot down by an F-16 fighter jet last month.

Over the course of the unsuccessful three-day search, the Coast Guard says it spent nearly 60 hours looking for the object and deployed vessels ranging from heavy ice breakers to airplanes.

During that timeframe the Coast conducted 23 different searches in northern Lake Huron covering 4,000 square miles alongside the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Mounted Police.

No autonomous underwater vehicles were deployed during the search. Instead, the Coast Guard relied on surface radar scans, whose effectiveness relies on the time of day, available daylight and the state of the sea.

U.S. Northern Command has yet to confirm if the object landed fully formed in the water or was destroyed or the specific location in northern Lake Huron.

The Department of Defense told WCMU the rescue mission was called off because it was no longer worth the time or effort.

Editor's note: This story originally reported the Coast Guard relied on subsurface scans to try and locate the airborne object. It's been corrected that the Coast Guard used above surface radar scans.

Rick joined WCMU as a general assignment reporter in March 2022.