Navy minehunter finds 30 war-era explosives in Narva Bay

The Estonian Navy's minehunter.
The Estonian Navy's minehunter. Source: Navy.

From the beginning of April, the Estonian Navy's minehunter Admiral Cowan carried out regular training in Narva Bay by testing the capabilities of new minehunting systems and sonar and training its crew, during which 30 different World War II era explosives were found from the bay located along the northeastern coast of Estonia.

"We found many contacts to classify and identify. The limiting factors were weather conditions and, in some cases, very poor underwater visibility. I am very positive about the capabilities of our new sonar," Lt. Cmdr. Tanel Kangro, commander of the mine hunter Admiral Cowan, said.

Minehunter Admiral Cowan started training activity in the Narva Bay area in early April. In the process, the ship's crew has found a total of 30 different World War II era explosives. Of these, 18 were naval mines, 11 torpedoes and one depth charge, as well as 156 mine anchors.

The training is in preparation for the ship and crew to join the readiness unit of the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One (SNMCMG1) in the second half of this year. The area was selected on the basis of historical data showing that various mines had been dumped there during World War II.

In the past twenty years, more than 1,200 explosives, mainly naval mines and other explosives that have been submerged during the World Wars, have been found and defused in Estonian waters during various mine countermeasures operations.

The main objective of the Estonian Navy is to protect Estonia's territorial integrity and the state's interests at sea. The main field of activity of the Navy is mine clearance and ensuring awareness of the maritime situation. Annual mine countermeasures operations reduce the potential risks associated with historic explosives, making shipping safer for both civilian and naval fleets.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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