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Dredging unearths WWII shells from seabed

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As a result of disturbing a sea - or riverbed - unexploded ordnance (UXO) can be unearthed from the murky depths...

As a result of disturbing a sea - or riverbed - unexploded ordnance (UXO) can be unearthed from the murky depths...

Dredging is the process of removing slit and other material from the bottom of bodies of water.  This process is often necessary during marine engineering works.

However, as a result of disturbing a sea - or riverbed - unexploded ordnance (UXO) can be unearthed from the murky depths.

This happened on Saturday 13th of February during dredging works off the east coast of England.  A Belgium registered Hopper Dredger travelled from Ijmuiden in the Netherlands to complete works 42 miles off the British coast. 

During their operations they realised they’d surfaced some explosive remnants of war.

Royal Navy Divers embarked from Portsmouth to help mitigate the threat.  The divers were assisted by the Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat.

Conditions were far from favourable - winds were blowing near gale force seven and temperatures were just above freezing.  It was determined these conditions were too risky so on the morning of Sunday 14th of February the divers were transported to the dredger via a lifeboat. 

Two projectiles were resting on top of sand in the main hopper bin and it was reported they were in poor conditions - always a concern when dealing with UXO.  The devices were carefully placed into sandbags and lowered back to the seabed with a marker attached.

Follow up mitigation will be conducted when weather conditions enable this.  The dredger was able to safely continue its journey back to the Netherlands.

SafeLane Global’s dedicated Marine services team has extensive experience providing UXO threat mitigation services during dredging operations.  Here’s a link to an example of work they provided during dredging in the Thames Estuary.

Due to the nature of dredging work, it is always recommended to factor in UXO risk mitigation planning as you never know what you may unearth or the condition any ordnance may be in.

Don’t take a risk with your project, your reputation or your staff’s welfare.  Contact SafeLane Global today to mitigate your exposure to explosive risk.

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