Vulcain Destroys/Recovers Second World War Explosive Devices

November 28, 2019 (Google Translation) – From November 18 to 22, 2019, the Vulcain Cleaner Divers (BBPD) building was deployed to conduct a clearance mission in the English Channel.

On November 19, 2019, taking advantage of favorable weather conditions, the Vulcain, with a team of demining divers (GPD) on board, carried out a demining operation off Dieppe.

During this operation, 29 150-pound US GPT 1 World War II bombs were moved and then cleared by mine clearance divers, representing approximately 1300 kg of TNT equivalent.

The BBPD Vulcain then left this former conflict zone to go to the Seine Bay and make dives expertise wrecks. On the wreck of the HMS Magic (English minesweeper sunk on July 6, 1944 by a Neger-type human torpedo), 28 British 3-inch artillery shells from the Second World War were identified. After carrying out the extraction of the ammunition, the shells were moved and then countered on November 21, 2019. All of these ammunition treated represented a total weight of 34kg TNT equivalent.

The Navy acts daily to secure the French coast and the seabed. All its means of mine action (dedicated buildings such as tripartite mine hunters but also the group of mine clearance divers and its BBPD) regularly carry out operations aimed at detecting, neutralizing or destroying unexploded ordnance at sea or on beaches. French.

In the Channel – North Sea, the GPD Manche conducts missions in the area of ​​responsibility of the maritime prefect from Mont Saint-Michel to the Belgian border, at sea, as on the shore on the 870 km of coastline.

The number of devices neutralized varies with the years and depends on many factors, including weather. In 2018, the joint action of the group of mine-clearing divers of the Channel and the tripartite mine-hunters of the French Navy destroyed 922 historical machines (at sea and on the foreshore), which represented more than 27 tons TNT equivalent.