Minehunter Orion Neutralizes a Bomb off Marseille

On November 2, 2021, the tripartite minehunter (CMT) Orion set sail from Toulon to lead a mission to monitor and combat explosives off the coast of Marseille.

Despite restrictive weather conditions, the mine hunter relocated and identified a munition near the Ile du Riou, located in the Calanques National Park of Marseille. It was a French 50 kg bomb dating from World War II. The ammunition had to be slung and moved on a nautical before being counter-mined by the clearance divers (PLD) of the Orion.

To do this, the clearance divers placed the ammunition between two waters using a float, commonly called a “cow”, before towing it by a dinghy type boat. The arrangement of the bomb between two waters has a threefold advantage: to eliminate the risk of projected shards, to avoid the destruction of the seabed and to direct the propagation of the wave on a possible rocky vein, on the edge of the national park.

Once the ammunition was neutralized, the mine hunter returned to Marseille harbor to continue his patrol, alongside other vessels in the fleet.

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