Page last updated at 13:13 GMT, Monday, 2 August 2010 14:13 UK
Big Bang on Islay
Lt John Keenan of the Royal Canadian Navy with the 500lb mine
Despite the seaweed, the mine was live and was identified as a British Mk 17

A member of the Royal Canadian Navy had a day he will not forget when he blew-up a World War II mine.

Lt John Keenan was on an exchange with the Royal Navy when he was called in to deal with the mine which washed up on a deserted beach on the Isle of Islay.

The 500lb seaweed-clad device was identified as a British Mk 17 mine and was still live.

After a short operation, its was safely disposed of in a controlled explosion supervised by Lt Keenan who said:

"It was a fantastic job, just the kind of thing I came over from Canada to do. We get the training in Canada but not the actual experience."

His commanding officer, Lt Cmdr Jason White, of the Northern Diving Group based at HM Naval Base Clyde, said: "We don't have pictures of the explosion because obviously the team were keeping their heads down but it was an impressive bang, considering the condition of the mine and the explosives inside.

"There is still ordnance in the sea dating back as far as the First World War, and, of course, more from the Second World War.

"We are careful not to worry people but they shouldn't poke at things if they don't know what they are."

Fisherman put live mine in shed
11 May 10 |  Highlands and Islands

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