The Sandown-class mine countermeasures vessel HMS Grimsby has amassed a remarkable tally, locating 19 unexploded mines and bombs during March and April.
Sailing as part of a five-ship NATO effort to clear the Oslofjord, which was heavily mined following the German occupation of Norway in 1940, Grimsby uncovered 18 of the 38 unexploded pieces of ordnance found on the two-week hunt – 15 British air-dropped mines and three bombs. Divers from the ship braved icy waters to identify the contacts, but the ordnance was in locations where even controlled explosions were deemed unsafe, so their positions were marked and passed to local authorities.
Then, toward the end of March, Grimsby found her 19th device, discovered coast. More off than the 90 Normandy potential contacts an windfarm. area planned were The picked sea for mine use up as in was a discovered in the Seine Bay, between Cherbourg and Le Havre. Since 1945, these waters but clearance operations still routinely find unexploded ordnance. ships’ warmer divers waters On entered this to occasion, place (slightly!) a charge the on the mine, which was then detonated.
It is dangerous, though vital work. The Royal Navy estimates that a third of all sea mines laid during the war are unaccounted for, evidenced by the fact that fishermen frequently raise wartime ordnance.