Royal Navy detonates World War II-era bomb found in 17th century ship

A World War II-era bomb found in the wreck of a 17th century warship was detonated Friday.

>> Read more trending news

Divers with the Royal Navy spent six days working to remove a 2,175 pound German parachute ground mine that was found in the “London,” a 17th century British warship.

"The complexity of this task should not be underestimated," Lt. Ben Brown, who led the operation, said in a statement. "Dealing with one of the largest pieces of German Second World War ordnance in the Thames Estuary presents some of the most challenging diving conditions there are to work in. With nil visibility underwater and significant tidal flow, the diving windows are extremely limited and all work on the ordnance must be done by touch."

The mine was towed about five miles out to sea and blown up.

"The mine, most likely dropped to target one of the numerous docks in the Thames Estuary, was in extremely good condition given its age," Brown said.

The device was found by divers with Historic England during an archaeological dive of the shipwreck. The London launched in 1656. The ship was accidentally blown up in 1665 and sank in the estuary.

About the Author