UK’s Royal Navy has destroyed a World War II bomb found sitting on the sea bottom near a North Sea gas pipeline.
In a statement on Friday, the navy said that a Royal Navy minehunter has destroyed a 500lb wartime bomb which was dredged up and then dropped “next to a major North Sea gas pipeline.”
HMS Cattistock and a team of expert Royal Navy divers raced to the location 50 miles off the coast of Norfolk after a Dutch trawlerman hauled the air-dropped Second World War device onto the deck of his vessel caught in fishing nets.
According to the Royal Navy, the trawlerman gently lowered the device back down to the sea bed before reporting his discovery to authorities but the bomb landed dangerously close to a major North Sea gas pipe – 60 meters from the pipeline, to be exact.
On arrival, the Royal Navy divers lifted the device from the sea bed, towed it for one mile, and then detonated it with an explosive charge.
It was an air-dropped 500lb bomb, likely to have been dropped by Germans in the Second World War.
Petty Officer (Diver) Lee Sullivan, from the Royal Navy’s Portsmouth-based Southern Diving Unit 2, said: “The proximity of the bomb to the gas pipeline clearly presented a significant risk but we were able to deal with the situation quickly.
“We safely removed the bomb from the pipeline area, and then carried out a controlled demolition. Fortunately the bomb turned out to be inert, meaning it wouldn’t have posed a danger but there was no way of knowing this until we destroyed it.”
HMS Cattistock arrived on scene within 24 hours of the call and swiftly located the bomb using the ship’s remotely operated vehicle. The embarked bomb disposal divers went down to assess the device on Wednesday and confirmed it was an air-dropped 500lb bomb, likely to have been dropped by Germans in the Second World War.
The previous version of the article said that the platform on the photo published by the Royal Navy resembled the Erskine platform in the North Sea.
A spokesperson for Serica, a company with a stake in Erskine said:”As the [Royal Navy’s] article indicates it [the bomb] was off the coast of Norfolk. This, fortunately, is nowhere near Erskine.”
Offshore Energy Today Staff