Controlled explosion clears wind farm site

Posted: 08/25/2011 in all marine news

Maritime Journal –

Portsmouth based explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) specialist Ramora UK has safely disposed of an unexploded World War II mine at one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms.

The four man Ramora UK team used an ROV to place a countermining charge next to the 680kg mine, which had been assessed as high risk due to damage previously sustained by it. Throughout the procedure a 1,500m safety zone was maintained to protect other vessels in the area. A controlled explosion was then initiated from a safe distance, leaving an underwater crater 20m wide by 4m deep.

The German, ship-laid ground mine was detected in 35m of water some 33km off Harwich in eastern England, on the site of the Greater Gabbard Wind Farm which will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm when it is completed next year.

Ramora UK was contracted by the prime contractor on the project, Fluor, which had first called in the company for another mine found at the site in 2009. Ramora UK used elements of the REODS suite of equipment to dispose of the mines.

REODS reduces the human and commercial risks of EOD by removing the need for a diver. It is kept on 24/7 standby, is fully mobile, and can be rapidly deployed anywhere in the world transported in a 10ft container. If necessary it can move UXO to a safe location for disposal and it has already been used to dispose of many similar items.

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