Page last updated at 16:51 GMT, Thursday, 11 March 2010

Portland Harbour WWII mine blown up in Weymouth Bay

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The parachute mine was blown up by Royal Navy bomb disposal divers

A "huge" German World War II mine found lying on the seabed of Portland Harbour in Dorset has been blown up.

The 0.75-tonne mine was towed to an area of deeper water in Weymouth Bay before Royal Navy bomb disposal experts carried out the controlled explosion.

The air-dropped parachute device was due to be blown up on Wednesday but bad weather caused delays.

A survey vessel with sonar equipment located the device in the middle of the harbour on Tuesday afternoon.

Before the explosion, warnings were broadcast by Portland Coastguard to keep ships clear of the area.

Exclusion zone

An exclusion zone was then maintained by Dorset marine police, coastguards and the harbour authority.

Divers from the Royal Navy's Devonport-based Southern Diving Unit One raised the mine with an inflatable lifting-bag, before towing it out to deeper water with a rigid inflatable boat.

Chief Petty Officer Diver Kas Kasapi said: "We have been here for three days now, diving at night and through the day.

"At the end, though, it is a good result. There has been no damage and everybody is safe."

The crew of the survey ship were carrying out routine shoreline work when they found the mine and lifted it from the bottom.

When they realised the danger it posed, they carefully replaced it back on to the seabed.



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SEE ALSO
German mine discovered in harbour
09 Mar 10 |  Dorset

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