One of the dredging vessels involved in the Portsmouth harbor dredging project found an unexploded Second World War device earlier this morning, Royal Navy just announced.
The bomb was found by Boskalis, which has been contracted by the Defense Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) to carry out the £31 million dredging program.
The harbor is currently being dredged to enable it to take the new Royal navy aircraft carriers which are due to come into service in the city by 2020.
This type of Second World War German SC250 bomb weighs 500lb and contains 290lb of high explosives, the Navy said.
Hampshire Constabulary said that Portsmouth Harbor Railway Station and Coach Station will be closed this morning and the Gosport and Isle of Wight ferries will also be affected while this is being dealt with.
Gunwharf Quays will also be closed for the duration of this operation.
“We are working with Ministry of Defense Police, the Royal Navy, Portsmouth City Council and other organizations to activate a pre-arranged multi-agency plan,” said Hampshire Constabulary in its announcement.
“Our priority is to keep the public safe and minimize community disruption while the ordnance is detonated by the Royal Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal.”
Divers from the Royal Navy’s Portsmouth-based Southern Diving Unit 2 are also on the scene.