trawler damaged by explosion in North sea

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paul.mercer
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trawler damaged by explosion in North sea

Post by paul.mercer » Thu Dec 31, 2020 10:23 am

Gentlemen,
there was a small article in a daily paper last week about a trawler badly damaged in a explosion whilst fishing in the North sea, apparently one of the crew reported something dragging in the net followed b an explosion. The MoD are investigating to find out about what occurred, but the article stated that there was suspected to be over a million tons of ordnance lying around on the bottom. so it could have been a mine, bomb or shell, but it is interesting to note that stuff still goes off after many years underwater.
Anyway, wishing you all a very happy and covid free new year.

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RF
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Re: trawler damaged by explosion in North sea

Post by RF » Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:47 pm

That reminds me of an incident in New Zealand, I think in 1932, where there were fatalities when a mine from SMS Wolf exploded having been washed up on the beach.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

OpanaPointer
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Re: trawler damaged by explosion in North sea

Post by OpanaPointer » Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:03 pm

Anybody got numbers for number of mines deployed in both wars and numbers recovered?

paul.mercer
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Re: trawler damaged by explosion in North sea

Post by paul.mercer » Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:46 am

Gentlemen,
I entered ' How many mines were laid in WW1 and WW2' into a 'Google' search and it came up with all sorts of interesting information.
It was a hell of a lot!
From what I have read about the 'North sea' incident, it appears that the trawler snagged something on the bottom and it went off, as the 42 foot trawler was lifted clean out of the water by the explosion I presume the mine (or what ever it was) went off on or near the bottom and not while it was being brought up in the net. A few years ago a magnetic mine was discovered off Plymouth and dealt with by he RN, it was interesting to watch the footage shown on local TV, the first and smaller explosion was the demolition charge, followed by a huge geyser of water as the mine went up.
Obviously they are still very dangerous!

OpanaPointer
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Re: trawler damaged by explosion in North sea

Post by OpanaPointer » Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:00 pm

For WWI I've read "70 million mines worldwide" but I'm weak on that number, don't recall the source. Great for harbor defense and transit interdiction.

paul.mercer
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Re: trawler damaged by explosion in North sea

Post by paul.mercer » Thu Feb 18, 2021 10:39 am

A lot of ordnance has been washed up on beaches due to the recent storms and several anti tank mines have bee blown up by RN BD experts, Also an inert practice sea mine was discovered on a beach in Cornwall which shows there is still quite a lot of stuff about.
Obviously we will never know what exploded under the trawler, but in pure speculation and guesswork I would think that it was more likely to be a mine rather than a shell, either a round one that was sitting on the bottom until one of its horns got caught in the net or an cylindrical acoustic/magnetic mine whose fuze was activated by being moved.
A pal of mine used to be in the RN BD unit in Plymouth and he reckoned that German fuzes were very,very good and remained 'live' even after being under water for years.

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marcelo_malara
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Re: trawler damaged by explosion in North sea

Post by marcelo_malara » Fri Feb 19, 2021 3:17 pm

The mine proper has positive buoyancy, so it will always float near the surface, unless the mechanism in the sinker has failed and taken it to the bottom. If it exploded in the bottom it was most probably an influence mine, remember that they can seriously damage a ship in depths of more than 20 fathoms, a trawler would be sank in greater depths.

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paul.mercer
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Re: trawler damaged by explosion in North sea

Post by paul.mercer » Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:56 am

Thanks Marcelo,
I think you are correct in your assumption, I don't know what dept that it was fishing, but apparently the trawler was was lifted right out of the water by the explosion and badly damaged, but happily did not sink. Re the word 'Influence mine' I'm not familiar with that term, would that be an acoustic or magnetic mine?

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marcelo_malara
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Re: trawler damaged by explosion in North sea

Post by marcelo_malara » Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:06 pm

Yes, any kind of detonator that needs no contact with the ship, mostly magnetic in WW2, I am not sure if there were acoustic detonators then, will go to Campbell´s book to confirm. They have interesting (and deadly) capabilities. For example they would go live after a preset time, not only for the lying vessel to clear the zone, but to avoid being detonated by a low value trawler sent soon after the lying to clear them. Or they can let pass a number of ships and explode in the n one.

An interesting case for the damage they can cause to a big warship is Belfast mined in 20 fathom depth, about 40 m.
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Re: trawler damaged by explosion in North sea

Post by paul.mercer » Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:34 am

Thanks again Marcelo,
I believe that the parachute mines dropped on land had 17 second fuzes, not much time for a disposal officer to get away if they stated to run, especially as they might have stopped just short of their activation!

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