Portsmouth-based bomb disposal experts detonate German war bomb

The fragment from the Union Jack believed to have flown on board HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. Credit: Sotheby's

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ROYAL Navy explosive experts have blown up a large German Second World War bomb that was found in the sea.

The 500lb device – dropped by enemy aircraft – was brought to the surface by a dredger near the entrance to the port of Dover.

A four-man bomb disposal team from Portsmouth, led by Petty Officer (Diver) Dave May, travelled to Kent to carry out a controlled explosion.

The 6ft-long bomb was taken three miles out to sea, off Deal, and lowered back on the seabed before being detonated.

The coastguard put a one-mile cordon in place, but not major shipping movements were affected.

Lieutenant Dan Herridge, in charge of the team, said the explosion was carried out at a depth of 50ft and caused a 50ft–high plume.

‘We don’t come across this size of bomb that often,’ he said.

‘This one was in poor condition and we could not tell if the fuses were intact or not, so the safest option was to take it out away from the busy shipping lanes and dispose of it as soon as we could.’