Explosive Second World War relics that have lain underwater in Port Vila for nearly 80 years have been rendered safe by Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) divers, at the request of the Government of Vanuatu.

The five 1000lb bombs – likely disposed of via a ship at the end of the Second World War – were sitting in around 20 metres of water.
Supported by Vanuatu officials, and operating from HMNZS Manawanui, five Maritime Explosive Ordnance Disposal Divers from HMNZS Matataua confirmed the location of the explosive remnants of war (ERW), before using a low order charge to crack the bombs open.

Chief Petty Officer Diver Jarron Williams led the dive team for the operation, and said that the method they used was the least disruptive in the sensitive maritime conservation area.

“A low order charge to crack the ordnance open is a method that we’ve successfully utilized in other Pacific nations affected by ERW, like Tuvalu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.