World War II mine explosion in the harbor of Brest

A similar German mine weighing 970 kg was defused on Tuesday, September 15, 2020, in the harbor of Brest.
A similar German mine weighing 970 kg was defused on Tuesday, September 15, 2020, in the harbor of Brest. © National Navy.

Operation mine action (explosion) of a historic mine in harbor of Brest scheduled for Tuesday, April 19, 2022 from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm. It will be led by a team sappers from the group of divers-sappers (GPD) Atlantic. This is indicated Atlantic Maritime Prefecturein a press release.

816 kg of explosives

She elaborates: “In German naval mine from The Second World Warof the Luft Marine Bomb (LMB) type, was discovered near the southern passage of the ports of Brest in September 2021. 970 kg for 816 kg of explosives DTT equivalent. This historical high-capacity munition, identical to the one that was handled in the harbor of Brest on September 15, 2020, still poses, despite a long stay in the water, a non-zero risk to the population and surrounding infrastructure. Therefore, the maritime authorities decided to proceed with its neutralization. »

After studying and analyzing various possible options, the forces of the GPA and experts from the Atlantic Operations Center adopted a counter-mining regime (explosion) in the harbor of Brest. To limit the impact on wildlife, GPD will first implement marine mammal deterrent measures.

two steps

Two phases announced:

The first stage of the operation will be to lift the vehicle and move it away from the port infrastructure in order to place it in an area suitable for countermining in the center of Brest harbor.

Security perimeter

The maritime prefecture warns: “In order to ensure the safety of people and property during lifting, moving, and then mine action operations, a number of measures are being taken on the coast and at sea by order of the maritime prefect. »

Thus, access to restricted areas is markedly limited to persons necessary for the preparation of the operation. Surveillance is carried out at the approaches to the shore and at the respective ports to prevent any penetration into the security perimeter defined by the decree. In the Brest Harbor, the prefecture of the Atlantic Marine Fleet regulates activities by establishing security perimeters from 7:00 to 14:00:

A zone prohibited for marine, underwater, swimming and any other activity.
A zone prohibited for marine, underwater, swimming and any other activity. © National Navy.

• The practice of maritime activities (recreational sailing, powerboats, kayaks, lifeboats, etc.), underwater activities, swimming and any other activity involving the presence of a person in the sea is strictly prohibited in a large area to the west of the harbour.

Video: now on Actu

• Commercial, motorized recreational and fishing boats must maintain a safe radius of 1500 m around the mine while moving and countermining.

Security perimeter for ships.
Security perimeter for ships. © National Navy.

Decree of the maritime prefect

Decree of the Maritime Prefect of the Atlantic No. 2022/053 of April 14, 2022, detailing the practices and security measures involved in this operation, is available at the following link: www.premar-atlantique.gouv.fr

In conclusion, the Maritime Prefecture of the Atlantic specifies: “If the security conditions are not met, the operation will be postponed to 20, 21 or 22 April. »

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