Royal Navy detonates bomb found in Portsmouth Harbour

Dredging works in Portsmouth Harbour have once again unearthed a wartime bomb that was detonated by Royal Navy’s bomb disposal experts on Friday morning.

The British-made Armstrong Whitworth munition was found at 2am in the excavator head of a barge dredging the harbour.

Dredgers have revealed at least four historic ordnance in the harbor since works started in September last year.

The Royal Navy said it was not known how the device could have ended up at the bottom of the Solent.

Divers of the Royal Navy’s Southern Diving Unit 2 (SDU2) were called to the scene, lowered the device to the seabed and carried out a controlled explosion at around 8.30am.

The swift action by my team to get to the barge and safely remove the bomb before the morning ferries sailed meant people were not disrupted or placed in danger,” Petty Officer (Diver) Scotty Eaton said.

“The device was a British munition, and it’s a mystery as to why it would be at the bottom of the approaches but as always the Royal Navy stands by to deal with these things and keep people safe.”

Dredging works are part of infrastructure upgrades taking place in preparation for the arrival of the Royal Navy’s new 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier.

The main channel used by shipping in Portsmouth will be deepened by one metre and new power facilities are being built, navigational aids installed and jetties upgraded to take the carriers alongside.

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