Royal Navy Bomb Disposal Experts Successfully Blow up Huge German Mine off Essex Coast

Royal Navy bomb disposal experts have successfully blown up a huge German mine off the Essex coast.

The 1,500lb Second World War device was dredged up last Friday by the vessel Congo River about seven miles off Walton-on-the-Naze.

A team from Southern Diving Unit 2 in Portsmouth were faced with an initial precarious task of detaching the parachute mine from the vessel before laying it safely on the sea bed.

They then had to wait until yesterday (Tuesday) for a safe weather window to send a diver down to the device and attach explosives.

Lieutenant Al Nekrews who led an eight-man team during the operation said the controlled explosion created a 300-ft plume.

“The weather and sea state in the region were extremely poor for a few days but thankfully it improved a lot yesterday and we were able to crack on with the task.”

“The mine was in excellent condition – in fact it was still shiny – but the dredger had pierced its skin so this was a delicate task for the team.”

Lt Nekrews praised Chief Petty Officer (Diver) Ian Fleming and Leading Diver Matt Baker for their efforts in safely detaching the mine from the vessel.

“They were first on the scene and were faced with a challenging and precarious task but as usual they dealt with it in an extremely professional way.”

He added: “These type of devices are not uncommon, particularly in that part of the world.”

“There are still tens of thousands of unaccounted for pieces of ordnance from the Second World War still scattered throughout northern Europe”

Source: royalnavy, July 21, 2011;

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