Destruction of explosive ordnance in situ

Our seabeds and coasts are full of legacy ordnance from the last two world wars Unexploded bombs, mines, grenades or poison containers, e.g. barrels of mustard gas, which off Helgoland are becoming modern and uncontrollably ticking time bombs. Salt water, currents, tides and the economic use of the sea have affected the containers and components for decades, which causes them to become extremely fragile objects.

 

If old ordnance is to be located as part of the construction work or soil analyses, an extensive inspection is performed first, to determine whether the condition allows salvaging or whether destruction in situ cannot be avoided.

 

If it is decided that salvaging and subsequent destruction at a safe distance is too dangerous, the risk source has to be destroyed in situ and under controlled conditions in order to prevent future damage. Every discovery needs a separate strategy, in which the focus is of course on safety. For us, this also means guaranteeing the safety of the native marine life as much as possible. Causing an explosion is frequently unavoidable, however with special technologies – such as positioning a curtain of air bubbles as an impenetrable barrier for fish and marine mammals – we try to keep the effects of the explosion on marine life to a minimum.