HMS Cattistock has destroyed a 500lb wartime bomb found near a major gas pipe.
According to a press release, 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.
The Navy say that 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.
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. Fortunately due to its age, the bomb was discovered to be inert and no longer a threat say the Royal Navy.
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.”
Lieutenant Commander Charles Wheen, the Commanding Officer of HMS Cattistock, said:
“This is exactly the sort of task HMS Cattistock and the Royal Navy’s expert divers are trained to do and we worked together to deliver a safe outcome. I’m very proud of the team involved and how they managed to resolve this potentially dangerous situation.
It’s a great example of the importance of good teamwork, but I hope it also serves as a reassuring demonstration of how the Royal Navy stands by around the clock to secure the seas around Britain.”