A routine shoreline survey found an unexpected hazard to navigation when its sonar found something chunky on the bottom in the middle of Portland Habour: A one-tonne parachute mine dropped by the German Luftwaffe in World War 2.
They only realised what it was when they lifted it to the surface “but carefully replaced once it was realised what the item was” says the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency. As well they would.
Portland Coastguard was told about the bombe surprise which immediately informed the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team at Plymouth which made its way to the area.
The team has now identified a safe area of deeper water for its disposal, south east of the harbour. The mine will be towed to this site later after divers have identified a more localised site for disposal.
The Police have been informed, and will maintain an exclusion zone when the ordnance is disposed of safely tomorrow. The Coastguard will also broadcast warnings to shipping to steer clear of the area prior to its removal.