As just gone 08:00 this morning a fishing vessel reported to HM Coastguard that it had caught the 7-foot long ordnance in its nets around a mile off The Needles.
The Royal Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team have been called in and they are currently on scene around 1.4 miles WSW of The Needles Lighthouse.
Warning broadcasts have been issued to vessels in the area and The Needles Coastguard Rescue Team are on land for reasons of public safety.
Duty controller Piers Stanbury has said:
“From what we can tell from the pictures and the information from the EOD, this is most likely an old German wartime sea mine”.
UPDATE @ 15.01 – A 2-mile exclusion zone is now in place and safety broadcasts continue to be aired.
According to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) the detonation will take place between 15:30 and 16:30 – all being well.
UPDATE @ 16:25 – The fishing vessel that dredged up the mine, the Caralee, has, at last, made it to Yarmouth Harbour – some 7 hours later than normal.
Speaking to Island Echo on the dockside, the crew said that the mine was off their stern for around 4 hours.
The ordinance was lowered to the seabed earlier on this afternoon but detonation equipment was lost in the process. According to the fishermen, tides are strong in the area making diving tricky.
It is unknown when the mine will now be detonated.
UPDATE @ 17:10 – The EOD team remain on scene and are expected to carry out a controlled explosion imminently. The explosion should be seen from Freshwater/Military Road.
UPDATE @ 19:20 – The detonation failed to take place shortly after 17:15 and as a result, the detonation will now not take place until tomorrow (Sunday).
Explosive Ordnance Disposal experts are expected to return to the area sometime after 09:00.
UPDATE SUNDAY @ 13:40 – The MCA have confirmed that the mine was successfully destroyed by means of a controlled explosion at around 10:50 this morning.
It has been revealed that the mine was 7ft long, 26 inches wide and was still carrying much of its original explosive material.
The moment the explosion took place was captured on camera by the Southern Diving Unit 2 EOD team…