The Royal Netherlands Navy minehunter HNLMS Makkum has cleared a so-called ‘Blockbuster’ from World War II which was not mapped. It was found by fishermen at the Doggersbank, about 200 miles offshore the Dutch coast in the North Sea. This type of bomb, 4,000lbs and 2.5m long, were designed to blast a living quarter away. Before clearing the bomb, marine mammals were encouraged to swim away from the area.
The expectation was that the blast would cause a huge water colum, however this was not the case. A diver was sent out for an observation and the 1800kg explosives appeared to have leaked away during the 70 years underwater. Most important was that a potential hazard was removed. The method of clearing was positively evaluated and will be applied more often in the future.