Royal Navy bomb disposal experts are preparing to destroy a 1,500lb German mine discovered on the seabed in The Solent.
The WWII GD ground mine was found by a crane barge 1.5km off Southsea while removing debris from a site being dredged next month in preparation for the arrival of the Navy’s new aircraft carriers.
The bomb disposal team – also fully-qualified clearance divers – towed the air-dropped device overnight to open waters about 1.5km off Bembridge, Isle of Wight. They plan to carry out a controlled explosion today between 1000 and 1100.
A cordon of approximately ¾ mile will be in place during the explosion. It is expected to have only a minimal impact on shipping.
Petty Officer (Diver) Richard Ellis, in charge of a six-man team of bomb disposal officers from Portsmouth-based Southern Diving Unit 2, said: “These mines were laid in their thousands during WWII but are rarely encountered these days – it’s only the second one we have dealt with in three years. The other one was in the mouth of the Thames.