Italian Navy’s minehunter Rimini (engaged in the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2) identified a mine still with its releasing device in the Black Sea.
The discovery was exceptionally uncommon, due to the absence of mud on the device and the still existing connection with the anchor, as well as the physical-chemical properties of the water, thoroughly different from the Mediterranean in terms of sound speed in water and sonar performances.
Last July, at the end of the international exercise Breeze 2014, organized by the Bulgarian Navy for the NATO before the stop in the Romanian port of Constance, the Italian unit Rimini – under the command of Lieutenant Claudia De Cesare – was engaged in search and identification of devices laid on sea beds off the Romanian coast during WWII.
In fact, these devices still represent a threat to safety of navigation, thus affecting fishing and other economic activities. This kind of operations, carried out in diverse marine environments with the possibility of cooperation with allied Navies, represent a training opportunity for the crews and make use of the units’ dual-use features in terms of:
– Shipwrecks, stricken aircraft archeological finds;
– Mapping of sea bottom;
– Operations enhancing safety at sea, such as local fishing, seriously jeopardized by these devices.