Estonian Navy clears aerial bomb found on route of undersea gas pipeline

The Wambola. Source: Karl Alfred Baumeister

Mine divers of the Estonian Navy removed a bomb found on the route of the Balticconnector undersea gas pipeline. The 50-kg aerial bomb was detonated at a depth of some 40 m.

An object resembling a mine was initially detected north of Lahepere Bay during a route study carried out by subcontracting partners of transmission system operator Elering, spokespeople at the headquarters of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) said.

According to the mine divers, it was an aerial bomb weighing approximately 50 kg that needed to be detonated. The Estonian Navy's command and support ship Wambola also participated in the works and for the purpose was turned into a mobile workstation for the mine divers.

"Working at such depths we pay particular attention to safety, so our experienced mine divers were also supported today in the operation area by a underwater medic and a special hyperbaric chamber, the likes of which are not found elsewhere in Estonia," Lt. Sg. Priit Kaasikmäe, head of the divers unit of the Estonian Navy, said.

Earlier this year mine divers detonated two World War-I and World War-II era naval mines that were found along the route of the Balticconnector undersea gas pipeline. The Estonian Navy at the end of last year checked some ten objects resembling a historic ordnance along the planned route of Balticconnector. The dangerous explosives found so far have been cleared by mine hunters and mine divers of the Estonian Navy.

Since the recreation of the Estonian Navy over 1,250 pieces of ordnance have been found and cleared within the country's maritime boundaries, most of which were naval mines, torpedoes and aircraft bombs from the two world wars.

Balticconnector is a 150-km natural gas pipeline currently under construction that will connect the gas networks of Estonia and Finland, with over half of its total length to be located at the bottom of the sea. The project is to be completed by 2020.


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Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: BNS

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