NATO group finds more World War II ordnance off Estonian coast

SNMCMG1 vessels.
SNMCMG1 vessels. Source: NATO

Eight World War II-era explosive devices have been found in Estonian waters recently, Baltic News Service reports.

The ordnance, mostly of German origin, was found in a 93 square-kilometer area of the Estonian seabed, by the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One (SNMCMG1).

The SNMCMG1's commanding officer noted his pleasure at the haul, particularly since the unit will soon be leaving Estonia.

"We are happy since as we are soon leaving Estonia, we can say that we have contributed to making the sea areas here safer," said Cmdr. Peter Krogh (Royal Danish Navy) of the results.

"We value working with the Estonian Navy and hope for further good cooperation as well," he went on, according to BNS.

Over the two-week period the surveying happened, around 300 objects which were potential explosives were located, mapped and identified, with several World War II mines and torpedoes emerging.

Two German G7 torpedoes, the standard German World War II Kriegsmarine torpedo, were found of the coast of Paldiski in northwestern Estonia. Each torpedo contains 450 kilograms of explosive, according to BNS.

A German contact mine and a torpedo mine, the latter containing the same volume of explosives as the torpedo, were also found, and three Finnish sea mines were also located.

Most of the Most of the explosives found have already been disposed of, with any remainder to be dealt with by the Estonian Navy (Merevägi ).

As reported on ERR News Merevägi personnel detonated a German World War II torpedo boat off the coast of Saaremaa on Monday. The vessel also contained two torpedoes.

SNMCMG1, one of four NATO standing maritime naval groups which provides NATO with competency in mine countermeasures warfare and can be deployed worldwide at short notice, arrived in Estonia on Oct. 11 and will continue its ordnance counter-measures activities to Oct. 25.

SNMCMG1 comprises headquarters patrol vessel HDMS Thetis (Denmark), the minehunters FGS Weilheim (Germany) and LVNS Talivaldis (Lithuania), as well as the mine trawlers HNOMS Rauma (Norway), HMS Cattistock (U.K.) and HNLMS Urk (Netherlands), along with minehunter BNS Narcis (Belgium).

The Merevägi has been participating in SNMCMG1 for over ten years, contributing a warship every six months to its operations. SNMCMG1 has patrolled Estonian waters in the past, most recently in 2017.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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