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West Mersea RNLI lifeboat crew aid Royal Navy bomb disposal team

Lifeboats News Release

West Mersea RNLI lifeboat crew aided the Royal Navy bomb disposal team early on 2 April 2016, after a local fisherman discovered an explosive device in his net at the mouth of the Blackwater Estuary.

The West Mersea RNLI Lifeboat, Just George, was called out on 2 April at 9am at the request of Dover Coastguard to assist a Royal Naval bomb disposal team, who came from their base in Portsmouth and launched their boat from Bradwell.  

The volunteer crew had been called after a local fishing vessel had found an unexploded device in its nets whilst trawling. The device was left on the sea bed in 3mof water off St Peters Flats at the mouth of the Blackwater Estuary and marked with a buoy until the Royal Navy team could attend.

The lifeboat crew were tasked to ensure no vessels entered the 1km exclusion zone around the device to ensure everybody on the water was at a safe distance.

At 10.45am the Royal Naval bomb disposal team carried out a controlled explosion to the device which they had identified as a depth charge.  The explosion sent a plume of water 50 metres into the air. 

Volunteer RNLI crew member Stephen Jay, who was on the lifeboat during the shout, said: ‘It’s amazing to see the work these guys do, and it was great to see such a spectacular ending.’ 


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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

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