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Ordnance disposed of in controlled explosion by the Royal Navy

Royal Navy bomb disposal experts have successfully detonated ordnance near the mouth of the QE2 marina entrance in Guernsey through a controlled explosion.

The United States Mk 54 depth charge was safely disposed of at 12:05pm local time on 16 November after local divers discovered it last week.

The team of six from the Royal Navy's Southern Diving Unit 2 based in HMNB Portsmouth, included divers and support crew to allow them to operate in a bubble and not rely on local support (for infection control measures).

Lieutenant Commander Al Magill, Commanding Officer of the Royal Navy's Southern Diving Group, said:

"There were testing environmental conditions, and although diving is never routine our specialist divers are well trained for these types of operations. This is the first of that type we have dealt with in a number of years, and although it was overgrown it was still intact."

The Royal Navy team was supported by Guernsey Ports' workboat Sarnia alongside the States of Guernsey and Bailiwick Law Enforcement vessel Leopardess.

Guernsey's Harbourmaster Captain David Barker said:

"I would like to thank all the staff from Guernsey Coastguard, Guernsey Ports, Bailiwick Law Enforcement and other States of Guernsey agencies involved in this operation. On behalf of all involved, our appreciation and thanks should be shown to the Royal Navy diving group for coming over to Guernsey very quickly to dispose of this device, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Royal Navy team acted with professionalism amid the difficulties of working within a marine environment and adapting to the requirements of social distancing and working because of the pandemic."

The Exclusion Zone around the device by the Reffee Buoy has been lifted and the Guernsey Coastguard navigation warnings and the Guernsey Harbours' Local Notices to Mariners have been rescinded.