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Spanish minehunter “Duero” discovers an explosive device off the coast of France

Mediterranean Sea
October 6, 2020
  • The Spanish vessel takes part in NATO’s “Dynamic Mariner” exercise.

Minehunter “Duero” has found out an explosive device in Rada de Hyères (France) while conducting a mine hunting routine during the “Dynamic Mariner” exercises, organised by NATO. According to experts, this device could be from the Second World War.

Minehunter “Duero” joined the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2) on September 23, highlighting Spain’s commitment with its allies. Among other activities, the SNMCMG2 participates in different exercises to improve the cohesion of its members and maintaining the level of training necessary to eventually tackle any threat.

During the exercises, each minehunter gets an area assigned in which to find simulated mines which have been previously anchored. In order to do it, they use a sonar of variable depth to detect these mines and also an unmanned underwater vehicle or divers, for the identification of the mines.

On the night of September 30th, as a result of a sonar contact with similar features than a mine, the "Pluto" submarine vehicle was pulled down for visual identification of the contact.

After watching these footage, it was determined that the device found did not match any of the simulated mines. Due to its nature, it could have been from the Second World War.

Due to the geographical position of the device, provided by the “Duero” minehunter, the French authorities will be in charge of neutralizing it so that it does not entail any danger to navigation or the underwater environment.

Minehunter “Duero” will participate in the “Dynamic Mariner” exercises until Thursday, October 8. Later, it will take part in the “Nusret” and “Poseidon” exercises before starting the transit back to Spain.