Portsmouth divers called after merchant vessel anchor spears torpedo

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HMS Mersey, in the foreground, escorts the Vishnya class (520) Feodor Golovkin and its Russian task group through the English Channel. Credit: Louise George

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ROYAL Navy divers have destroyed a test torpedo which had been speared by the anchor of a merchant vessel.

The historic ordnance had been pierced by the fluke of the anchor as it landed on the seabed, and had then been dragged up.

Portsmouth-based Southern Diving Unit 2 were dispatched to the scene in Portland.

Lieutenant Commander Jonathan Campbell said: ‘The tanker was carrying around 1,000 tonnes of fuel or oil. The fuel cargo was pumped into the aftermost possible tanks to reduce the effects of any explosion, and fire hoses were ready to deploy if needed.’

The divers used their expertise to remove the torpedo in a safe manner. Once removed, it was destroyed.