UK Dredger Fishes Up WWll Mine

Press Release
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Mine Caught in Dredger Head: Photo credit MOD

A 1,500lbs (680kg)  high explosive WWll  mine was brought to the surface by a dredger six miles north of Sheerness.

Before carrying out a controlled explosion a four-man Navy team from Southern Diving Unit 2 in Portsmouth had to carefully remove the device from the vessel's dredge head.

Chief Petty Officer Ian 'Scouse' Fleming, who led the team, worked for seven hours through the night in atrocious conditions to safely extract the mine and hoist it onto the dredger's upper deck. He said: "I had to crawl along a pipe to reach the mine to attach chains. It was a confined space and waves were splashing all around me. The fuses had been bashed about a bit and were quite dangerous and the explosives were exposed.

The Second World War device - which measured two metres long by 50cm in diameter - was towed two miles (3km) further out to sea and dropped to a depth of about ten metres. The controlled explosion caused a 76-metre-high plume, which was clearly visible from the shore.


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