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Unexploded Bomb Dropped Deep
News Bytes 10/13/2020 10 Comments

Australian navy divers removed an unexploded 100-pound bomb from a reef off the country’s southeastern coast. Officials decided the bomb posed a “significant risk” to the public. So a military ship towed the explosive to deeper waters.

The bomb was found and photographed by a fisherman on Elizabeth Reef near Lord Howe Island. The island lies about 340 miles off New South Wales state. Along with nearby Middleton Reef, Senior Marine Parks Officer John Pritchard says Elizabeth Reef is the southernmost coral reef platform in the world. The area boasts 125 corals species and over 300 fish species, according to Pritchard.

“It’s quite a unique environment,” he says, “and, because it’s so far from anywhere, it’s relatively untouched.”

Divers aboard the HMAS Adelaide carefully removed the abandoned explosive by floating it to the surface and then towing it farther out to sea. They dropped the bomb into 1,800-foot deep waters.

“That depth is really safe. It’s not going to ever get washed back up onto the reef,” Pritchard says. “There’s no deep-sea fishing or trawling allowed out there. It’s a recreational fishing zone only. The chances of that UXO (unexploded ordnance) ever coming back to the surface is [very small].”

The origin of the bomb is not known. It is too deteriorated for divers to estimate its age, says spokesperson for Environment Minister Sussan Ley.

Bombs of that size were used as long ago as World War I. They were sometimes dropped from aircraft to target submarines. There were bombings off the Australian east coast during both World Wars.

Ley says the fishers and navy divers potentially saved human lives—and one of Australia’s most important reefs.

“The device was regarded as live by the navy, and the consequences could have been quite frightening,” Ley says. “Thankfully the reef’s precious ecosystem is safe and most importantly so are future visitors.”

(Members of the Australian Clearance Diving Team One return to Lord Howe Island, Australia, on a Zodiac inflatable boat following a successful search for unexploded ordnance. ABIS Sittichai Sakonpoonpol/Royal Australian Navy via AP)

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Most recent comments

1st comment

Interesting. The bomb must have been a dud or something of that sort. That is really kind of cool if it is from WWI! In the picture, that thing the soldiers are in does not look very stable at all!! And four men in it at least! I would be a little worried of tipping!!!! But then again you can see that they all have life vests on and probably know how to swim and I am sure there was a boat near-by.

2nd comment

Yeesh, how freaky can that be? I mean, what if a diver was searching for some historical artifacts with a gas torch and accidentaly blew the reef up? Scary.

Well...

The blast radius for a 200 pound bomb is ~500 meters, using that, This bomb would have a blast radius of 25 meters, so about 82 feet, but because it is underwater it is met with more resistance per square inch, so I would guess maybe 20 feet blast radius. I would not do hardly any harm to the reef. But it should still be towed out to sea and blown up.

WOW!!

That would be super cool if the bomb really is from WW1. They should make an underwater museum of things that people find randomly in the sea. Imagine swimming to find there is an unexploded WW1 bomb right underneath you?

5th comment P.S. This is Caro

Reefs take forever to grow back. So even it being only damaged a little would be bad!

.

WOW

BOOM!!!!!!!!

so the thing with water is that it is non compressible. so if a hundred pound bomb exploded in the reef, the shock wave would be so immense that, potentially everything in that reef could have died. and if everything died than the coral, with nothing to live on, would also die. but also the amount of dead fish that would be floating and decomposing, would make the water toxic for a time.

Wow, a bomb from over 100

Wow, a bomb from over 100 years ago is so cool!

how did they pull it out of

how did they pull it out of the water?

@ Jill E

My dad one told me about how some people floated a downed ship back up by attaching buoys to them. Maybe that's how they did it.

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