Portsmouth Harbour bomb '˜may not be the last found'

MORE unexploded bombs are likely to be found in the waters around Portsmouth in the next few months, a Royal Navy commander has said.

Thursday, 17th November 2016, 8:53 am
Updated Friday, 18th November 2016, 12:22 pm
The bomb found in Portsmouth Harbour. Picture: Royal Navy

Commander Del McKnight said it was likely more devices would be found during dredging operations ahead of the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth next summer.

Speaking to The News shortly before the bomb was detonated Commander McKnight, commanding officer of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Diving Squadron, said: ‘I suspect [this bomb] won’t be the last.

‘There are quite a lot more dredging operations to go before HMS Queen Elizabeth’s arrival in the middle of 2017.

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‘We will stand ready to be called out again.’

Two devices were found in the harbour in September, but yesterday’s device meant a larger area than before had to be evacuated.

Commander McKnight said this was because the previous two had been kept in the water throughout – causing a dampening effect on any explosion - while yesterday’s had been recovered on to the deck of a barge.

Gunwharf Quays general manager Colin Wilding said: ‘Due to the unique location of Gunwharf Quays, adjacent to the Naval Dockyard, we are subject to occasional incidents such as these.

‘We take the safety and security of our staff and visitors very seriously and following instruction from local authorities, Gunwharf Quays was temporarily closed.’