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WW1 Torpedo Destroyed

AN unexploded torpedo was found off the coast of Sunderland on Wednesday.

Speaking after the find on June 29, a Northumbria Police spokesman said: “At 2.53pm today we received a report that an unexploded World War One torpedo had been found in wreckage in the sea just off Roker Pier.”

The Navy attended, identified the device and will carry out a controlled explosion of the torpedo this morning.

“This will be done at around 9am,” said the spokeswoman.

“Residents may hear the noise of the explosion when it is carried out, but other than the sound there will be no impact to the public.”

Posted in Offshore UXO, UXO News |

UXO on Weymouth Beach

Two devices, thought to be World War Two shells, have been discovered on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast.

A Royal Navy bomb disposal team was called after a live 3in (8cm) shell was found shortly before 13:00 BST on National Trust land at Studland.

A 100m cordon was put in place before it was safely blown up.

Earlier, part of Weymouth beach was closed after a member of the public found a 3in (8cm) projectile armour-piercing head.

It was removed after being found to be non-explosive.

A 100m (328ft) cordon was put in place after the item was found in the early hours as there were fears it could have been an unexploded World War Two shell.

Posted in Offshore UXO, UXO News |

UXO in Plymouth Harbour

PLYMOUTH – “I’m amazed, and extremely thankful that no one was injured,” Ken Tavares, chairman of the Board of Selectmen and principal of the July 4 Committee, told the Old Colony Tuesday after a fireworks shell misfired, igniting fires on two barges and cutting short Plymouth’s annual Fourth of July fireworks display.

Tavares has a unique perspective on the fireworks – because of his long-time leadership of the fundraising effort that makes the annual display possible, and because he always has a great seat for the show.

Tavares lives on Winter Street, just outside of the downtown area, a road that ends on the harbor and affords friends and family members a direct view of the fireworks barges in the harbor.

That’s why when things went wrong Monday night, Tavares said, he knew right away something was amiss.

“You could see that there had been an explosion of some sort right on the water line,” Tavares said, “It was impressive to see, but not normal. In a moment everything around us went dead quiet as people realized that something had gone wrong.

“I called the town manager, who I knew was down on the waterfront, but before I could get through I could see the emergency responders heading out and a fire on the barge.”
At first the evening’s activities went off exactly as planned. The Plymouth Philharmonic played a pre-fireworks program including the booming 1812 Overture and then, at about 9:15 p.m., the fireworks began.

For those with a less direct vantage point than Tavares, the show was at first impressive and then mysterious.

Just a little more than 10 minutes into the program everything ended. It took longer than that for people to realize it was not just a long pause.

Others, though, could see and hear the problem.

“We were up on my family’s roof deck and witnessed the explosion,” Robert Sullivan said. Robert and Gerry Sullivan, from Braintree, were visiting Lauren Foley’s family on Winslow Street. “We could feel the percussion off our chests. It was very loud, and it was obvious something went wrong.”

At first the emergency responders believed only one of the two fireworks barges was involved, and their plan was to purposefully set off the second barge’s fireworks later in the evening. But before they could do that a fire started on the second barge.

“The second barge caught fire as we were extinguishing the first,” Plymouth Fire Chief Ed Bradley said Monday night.

Plymouth emergency responders reached the scene quickly and got the fireworks company’s crews to safety. And, Bradley said, there were no injuries.

Posted in Offshore UXO, UXO News |

SS Richard Montgomery Hoax Alert

A hoax website report about Second World War bomb ship the SS Richard Montgomery caused panic on the Isle of Sheppey.

Southend News Network published a spoof on its website last night (Wednesday) claiming strange noises had been heard coming from the wreck in the Thames Estuary and homes on the Essex coast were being evacuated.

But when Sheppey mum-of-four Tracey Edwards read the report on Facebook this morning she believed it and called the Sheerness Times Guardian in panic.

She said: “I am really panicking. I have four children and live by the sea wall at Queenborough. My elderly parents live on the seafront at Marine Parade, Sheerness.

“I don’t know whether we should be evacuating. We have always been told that if the Montgomery blows up the tidal wave will swamp the Island.”

The newspaper received at least three other similar calls.

Furious Sheppey MP Gordon Henderson immediately scotched the rumours. He said: “I am confident this is not true. If there was any change in the condition of the wreck the people of Sheppey would be the first to know.

“This is a totally irresponsible hoax and, if it is causing panic to my constituents, quite possibly dangerous, too.”

Peel Ports monitors the wreck 24-hours a day from Sheerness docks.

After the report was confirmed as a hoax Tracey, whose children range from three to 12 years, said: “It was 100 per cent irresponsible and scary. It was horrible. My first thought was to take my children out of school. It’s really upsetting. One day it could happen for real and then no one will believe it. Imagine how it is if you are elderly?”

The website report was headlined: “Evacuation alert after ‘humming noise’ heard at explosive Thames wreck SS Montgomery.”

It went on: “Shortly after 7pm this evening, naval chiefs activated an evacuation order as a precaution, and everyone living within 200m of the wreckage has now been ordered to leave their homes and businesses immediately.

“The cause of the hissing noise and buzzing is currently unclear but we have heard unconfirmed reports that a child was spotted throwing pebbles into the exclusion zone from a fishing boat this morning.

“Although experts have advised the public that a full explosion is ‘almost very nearly inconceivably impossible,’ Essex and Kent social media accounts are already full of people who have spotted Anderson shelters in neighbouring gardens.”

The site, which carries the strap-line “The latest news from Southend, honest…” began: “A group of Thames estuary mud-walkers have reported that there is currently a humming noise coming from the wreck of the SS Montgomery – the wrecked ship resting between Essex and Kent that has enough live explosives on board to potentially redraw the map of Northern Europe.

“A team of experts from Southend are currently at the site of the wreckage, and it has now been confirmed that there is also a quiet hissing sound and the occasional ‘puff’ of smoke.”

The report was posted on The Gossip Board – Sheppey Facebook page.

Southend News Network was launched in October 2015 to have the “occasional ‘dig’ at the powers that be.”

According to its website it’s only staff member, the self-declared chief reporter, has “chosen to keep his identity under wraps for now.”

Posted in Offshore UXO, TRLtd News |

Mine Threat To QE Carriers

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.
Posted in Offshore UXO, UXO News |

Clyde Mine Detonated

 

Ferry services between Rothesay and Gourock are returning to normal after part of the Firth of Clyde was closed for the recovery of an unexploded mine.

Caledonian MacBrayne’s 1130 and 1325 sailings from Rothesay, and the 1200 and 1315 from Gourock, were cancelled on Thursday to allow Ministry of Defence divers to recover the device, which was found on the seabed on Sunday at a location near Gourock’s open-air pool.

After its recovery the mine was taken to deeper waters between Gourock and the Rosneath peninsula to be detonated.

After its recovery the mine was taken to deeper waters between Gourock and the Rosneath peninsula to be detonated.
Ferry services on the principal Bute route resumed with the 2.50pm departures from both Rothesay and Gourock.

Western Ferries’ Clyde crossings were unaffected by the 1,000-metre exclusion zone set up around the mine’s location, meaning drivers were still able to travel to and from Bute via Western and the short CalMac crossing between Colintraive and Rhubodach, using the joint ticketing arrangement set up between the two companies.

Gourock residents and businesses within 200 metres of the mine’s location were evacuated between 8am and 2pm.

Posted in Offshore UXO, UXO News |

UXO on Aberdeen Beach

An unexploded bomb  has been found on Aberdeen beach Esplanade which was closed by police as a precaution after officers were informed of the discovery at around 3.40pm on Sunday.

Road closures are in place during the investigation.

It was later fully reopened but a cordon will remain on the beach ahead of the device being removed on Monday.

road was shut from the roundabout with the Beach Ballroom, the junction with Park Road and the junction with King Street.

A police spokesman said: ” Police Scotland can advise that the Beach Esplanade in Aberdeen has now fully reopened, following the earlier discovery of an unexploded ordnance device on the beach.

“A small cordon will remain in place on the beach overnight for public safety and the item is expected to be removed tomorrow.”

The discovery comes just days after a sea mine was safely removed from the Gourock coast.

That device off the coast of the Inverclyde town was thought to date from either the 1940s or 1950s.

Posted in Offshore UXO, UXO News |

Doggersbank UXO Removed

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.

Posted in Offshore UXO, UXO News |

RFA Darkdale Clearance

 

Royal Navy divers have been called in to clear explosives from a wreck in the South Atlantic. The clearance of the wreck allowed MoD salvage teams to start safely removing the trapped oil within the holding tanks of the wreck.

The operation is due to be complete by mid-August, allowing the wreck to remain safely in place as a haven for marine life.

The MOD team has said that although outside of UK waters – and therefore not protected in statute in the same way as some of the wrecks around the UK coastline – the Darkdale is the final resting place of the majority of her crew and will be treated with utmost respect.

They were deployed to St Helena to work on the RFA vessel Darkdale, a freighting tanker which refuelled warships during World War Two.

RFA (Royal Fleet Auxiliary) vessel Darkdale became the first British ship sunk south of the equator during the war when U-68 slammed four torpedoes into her side as she lay at anchor off Jamestown in the early hours of 22 October 1941.

The ship was split in two by the explosion, caught fire and sank within five minutes, remaining at a depth of 42 metres.

In 2010, during a winter storm, the wreck released some of the oil that she had been carrying as cargo, leading to calls from the islanders who live in the British Overseas Territory for the Ministry of Defence to step in and prevent an environmental hazard.

Team members are conscious of sensitivities too – 41 of Darkdale’s crew went down with the ship.

Using specialist equipment, divers were able to remain at depth for prolonged periods and went on to remove 38 large projectile items, totalling around 80kg of high explosives.

Lieutenant Olly Shepherd, who led the team, said: “It was an extremely challenging and remote location to work in, but the team performed exceptionally and we have successfully cleared the wreck of a significant explosive hazard.

 

Posted in Offshore UXO, UXO News |

UXO in Poole Harbour

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Posted in Offshore UXO, UXO News |