Mine warning after explosion kills crew

By Craig RobinsonCOASTGUARDs have issued a warning to fisherman after three Second World War mines were found lying on the seabed off the coast.The devices are thought to be about 40 miles off the coast of Lowestoft and Southwold, close to the international border with the Netherlands.

By Craig Robinson

COASTGUARDs have issued a warning to fisherman after three Second World War mines were found lying on the seabed off the coast.

The devices are thought to be about 40 miles off the coast of Lowestoft and Southwold, close to the international border with the Netherlands.

It is believed the Dutch navy was sending last night a minesweeper to deal with the situation.


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Wayne Brunning, watch officer at Great Yarmouth coastguard, said the mines were lying 40 metres down on the seabed.

“At the moment we're not actually able to do anything because of their distance away from the shore and the fact that the mines are straddling the international borders with Holland,” he added.

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“All we know is that the devices are some way down, about 40 metres under water, and unfortunately we are unsure how long it will take to make the area safe.

“We contacted joint service explosives ordnance disposal unit and they said that they would assess the situation to see if it was viable for them to go out to detonate these devices, but as far as I know I think the Dutch navy are now dealing with the situation.”

The authorities were alerted to the existence of the mines after three Dutch fishermen died on Wednesday.

They were killed when a mine exploded after it became caught in one of their fishing nets.

The Dutch trawler was 30 miles off Yarmouth when three mines were caught in its fishing nets at just after 9am.

Its crew began throwing them back into the sea, but as the third was discarded, it blew up. Three men died and the ship was left in serious distress.

A rescue was carried out by the Dutch coastguard and the remaining crew returned to port safely.

craig.robinson@eadt.co.uk

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