WWII bomb safely towed from Portsmouth Harbour

An old WWII German bomb that was dredged from the sea bed earlier this morning in Portsmouth Harbour is in the process of being safely removed by the Royal Navy’s Explosives Ordnance Team.

The discovery of the 500lb bomb was reported to the UK Coastguard this morning shortly before 6am by the Queen’s Harbour Master (QHM) after it was dredged from the sea bed by a dredging vessel.  As a safety precaution, Hampshire Police evacuated homes and businesses near the Portsmouth Harbour area. 

Mark Rodaway, Strategic Gold Commander for the UK Coastguard said:  ‘This ordnance appears to have been left over from WWII and has remained for many years undisturbed on the seabed.  We are treating it as potentially unstable and in order to keep to the public safe, we worked with Hampshire Police and the Queen’s Harbour Master to evacuate a large section of the Portsmouth harbour area – including Gunwharf Quays, Old Portsmouth and The Hot Walls. These cordons have now been lifted.’

UK Coastguard also established a temporary restricted air space around the affected area and the QHM  temporarily suspended all ferry services in that area, as well as implemented a temporary exclusion zone - which have also been lifted in the last few minutes.  

The bomb is currently being towed out of the Harbour and a controlled explosion is planned 1.5 miles off the eastern Isle of Wight later today or early tomorrow.  

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