Search still on for huge bomb
LOST at sea - that was the Felixstowe bomb today as experts once again set off to find the 1,000 lb monster.Questions were being asked over why it had not been possible to tether the weapon to the seabed or to track its position accurately by attaching a GPS receiver, amid fears it could be washed ashore again.
LOST at sea - that was the Felixstowe bomb today as experts once again set off to find the 1,000 lb monster.
Questions were being asked over why it had not been possible to tether the weapon to the seabed or to track its position accurately by attaching a GPS receiver, amid fears it could be washed ashore again.
Despite 14 dives - 12 yesterday afternoon and two in the evening - the specialist Royal Navy crew was unable to locate the bomb and had to admit it was temporarily lost.
But they remain confident they will find it - and say it has simply rolled away, dragged along the seabed by strong currents, and believe it is still safely contained within 200 metres of its original position.
The team set off at 8am today to begin fresh searches and if unsuccessful will try again later in the afternoon.
Warrant officer Robin Rickard, who is overseeing the diving team, said: “We are beefing up the operation now because things have gone awry a bit.
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“We will carry on diving in a similar fashion for the next 24 hours and if we have not found it we will use a modified drag search - which utilises boats.”
“The bomb was dropped on an exact GPS position which we had a lot of confidence in.
“We are searching 200 metres around that location at the moment. The best contact we currently have, which is believed to be the bomb, is about 60 metres around from that initial position.”
Officials said it had been “quite challenging and the team has worked really hard.”
Once they find the bomb, a German SC type shell from 1942, they will attach an indicator line as a locating marker. Then an explosive charge will be made up and the bomb will be exploded
Petty officer diver Dave Moore said the bomb was mostly TNT dynamite but mixed with about 30pc aluminium powder to make it particularly fierce.
“It is dangerous for the divers but we are trained to do what we are doing and have years of experience in these situations,” he said.
“It's just one of those things, part of the job, and we get on with it.
“The divers are working in absolutely nil visibility and searching for the bomb with just their hands and fingertips. Once they have put the charges on it they will come back to the support ship and we will explode it.”
The bomb is currently two miles offshore in about ten to 12 metres of water. A sea exclusion zone has been set up above the bomb to protect boats.
When it goes off it should shoot a plume of water 300 ft into the air and noise should be heard across the town.
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