UK Navy Divers Conduct Solent Explosion Op
Royal UK Navy divers carried out a controlled explosion to remove two concrete and wood pillars that have been menacing sailors in the Solent.
For years the two pillars have stood rising eight metres from the floor of the Solent off Stokes Bay, Gosport.
They were the remains of an old pier but proved an underwater menace over the years with many sailors and fishermen scraping their hulls or getting their fishing nets caught on the columns.
As a result a team from the Royal Navy’s Southern Diving Unit Two (SDU2), based in Port Solent, were asked if they would remove the columns which they gladly did to gain experience and improve safety on the water.
Leading Diver Luke Halbauer, from SDU2, said:
“There were two obstructions that were under the surface and invisible for a number of years causing problems for sailors using this part of the Solent.
“When we went down to inspect the pillars we found an assortment of nets tangled around them where fishing trawlers had obviously not known they were there.
“Our role was to remove the pillars, using explosives, and clear this bit of waterway of hazards.”
Royal Navy divers are available to deploy 365 days a year to provide maritime force protection, as well as carrying out a civil protection function.
Divided into three units the divers cover the whole of the UK, not only responding to calls of unexploded ordnance being washed up, or unearthed along the coastline, but also to bomb disposal matters miles inland.
Royal Navy divers also played an important role in Afghanistan where they helped detect, and clear, explosive devices.
Press Release, October 07, 2014; Image: UK Navy