A German sea mine discovered by a fishing vessel is set to be detonated off the Isle of Wight this afternoon (Saturday).
The mine was picked up by a fishing vessel off The Needles by The Cara Lee
As just after 8am this morning a fishing vessel reported to HM Coastguard that it had caught the 7-foot long piece of ordnance in its nets near the popular The Needles lighthouse.
Royal Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team based at Portsmouth have been called and they are currently on the scene near to The Needles Lighthouse off the Isle of Wight.
The Needles Coastguard Rescue Team have been called to assist with public safety. A 2 mile exclusion zone has been put in place.
UK Coastguard Duty controller Piers Stanbury has said:
“From pictures and the information from the EOD, We understand that an old German wartime sea mine”. We have put in place exclusion zone and the detonation will take place between 3:30pm and 4:30pm this afternoon.
The UK coastguard has advised that the ordnance is back on the sea bed and EOD are to return at a later date.
This isn’t the first time the boat has been involved in the recovery of live ordnance. A controlled explosion had to carried out on a live parachute mine accidentally caught in the nets of a fishing boat.
The vessel Cara Lee reported the find to coastguard officers as it approached Weymouth Bay in Dorset in 2013
Experts from the Explosives Ordnance Disposal Unit attended the scene and safely lowered it onto the seabed.
Parachute mines were intended to be dropped on land targets by aircraft. They were heavily used by German Luftwaffe bombers and initially Royal Navy Bomber Command in World War.
Despite attempts to make the mine safe today efforts failed.