Saturday 25 February 2017

Weather hits bid to detonate mine

The Royal Navy had planned to carry out a controlled explosion
The Royal Navy had planned to carry out a controlled explosion

Attempts to detonate a live 2,000lb Second World War mine picked up by a dredger off the Essex coast have been hampered by the weather.

The device was found eight nautical miles off the coast of Clacton on Friday morning and experts had planned to discharge it on Saturday.

But conditions have stopped Royal Navy divers from making contact with the mine - which they moved from the dredger onto the sea bed - in order to carry out a controlled explosion.

A Royal Navy spokesman said high winds and poor sea conditions meant it was not possible to dive on Saturday morning.

"It is looking unlikely they can dive safely today because of the weather," he said.

Stewart Oxley, spokesman for RNLI Walton and Frinton, said the mine was believed to be "in very good condition" and "was still a viable destructive force".

The Royal Navy has denied reports that it had lost the mine.

"They know where it is. When it's safe to do so they will get down to it and dive on it. They put it on the sea bed safely," a spokesman said.

A one-mile exclusion zone remains in place around the area.

Press Association

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