Royal Navy bomb disposal experts have destroyed a Second World War German device found in Portsmouth Harbor during dredging work ahead of the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The bomb was towed out to open waters 1.5 miles east of the Isle of Wight where a controlled explosion took place at 4pm yesterday.
Shipping movements were restricted while the device was towed out through the harbor entrance.
Commander Del McKnight, the Commanding Officer of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Diving Squadron, said: “Last year we had more than 450 call-outs around the UK so this is really business as usual for us. We’ve had more call-outs to Portsmouth than we would usually see, because of the extent of the dredging works being done to make way for HMS Queen Elizabeth, but we have teams on standby at 10 minutes notice around the UK ready to deal with these things.”
Millions of pounds have been spent on works to prepare Portsmouth Naval Base to accommodate the Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers – HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.
Dredging operations, conducted by Boskalis, are underway to deepen the main channel used by shipping in Portsmouth by one meter.
New power facilities are also being built, navigational aids installed and jetties upgraded to take the carriers alongside.
This project includes capital dredging of the approaches, harbor entrance, turning basin and berth pocket.
The works are being undertaken using a combination of backhoe dredgers, trailing suction hopper dredgers and crane barges from the Boskalis fleet.