President Kersti Kaljulaid visited the Estonian Navy flagship the Admiral Cowan on Tuesday, observing an exercise which focused on sea mine destruction and removal.
"It is a beautiful day, during which the Navy is carrying out its work and blowing up mines. In this shallow waters, it is a key capability for us. No country should place mines if they cannot be cleaned up and we have this capacity in the form of newly renovated minehunters. We don't have many ships, but they are important in this area," Kaljulaid said via a Navy press release.
The President was welcomed at the Saaremaa Triigi harbor by commander of the Estonian Navy, Cdre Jüri Saska. Lt. Cmdr. Tanel Kangro, commander of the mine hunter Admiral Cowan, gave a tour of the minehunter together with his crew, showed Kaljulaid refurbished systems and demonstrated how minehunting works.
The maneuvers saw the navy blow up German sea mine dating back to World War Two which had been lying on the sea bed.
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.
Editor: Anders Nõmm