A mine-hunting exercise in the Gulf turned up the real thing when Royal Navy ship HMS Chiddingfold found a live depth charge.
The ship’s clearance divers were dispatched to dispose of the explosive during the incident in the Persian Gulf.
The real-life scenario came as Royal Navy minehunters, based in Bahrain, were put through their paces in an exercise with the US Navy.
Her Majesty’s Ships Atherstone, Chiddingfold and Shoreham met up with the US Navy Avenger-class mine countermeasures vessels USS Dextrous and Devastator for a week of testing scenarios.
The task force, supported by Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Cardigan Bay, searched for mines before tasking their divers or Seafox Unmanned Underwater Vehicle to dispose of them.
The final phase of the exercise saw the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Mitscher arrive to provide protection for the smaller ships that simulated being under attack.
This also gave sailors from both navies the chance to briefly spend time embarked in the opposite nation’s warships.
During the exercise all five minehunters conducted replenishment at sea with RFA Cardigan Bay.
Image: Royal Navy