Dong Energy have announced, that whilst surveying the site for their latest UK offshore wind farm, 41 unexploded world war two bombs were found.
Race Bank Offshore Wind Farm
The unexploded ordinance was found whilst Dong Energy were conducting a subsea survey, for the routing of cables, for its new Race Bank offshore wind farm.
The site, 17 miles (27km) off North Norfolk Coast, will contain 91, 6 mega watt wind turbines once complete, with a capacity to produce 580 megawatts (MW), enough to power over 400,000 UK homes.
The 41 items found ranged from small rockets to much larger 1,000lb high explosive bombs, with the most significant find being a German Luftmine B- a mine, containing a total 698kg of high explosive hexanite.
Specialist from Ordtek, were brought in by Dong to conduct the survey and remove all items from the Race Bank site.
Of the 41 unexploded items found, 36 were found to be live, whilst 5 were certified free from any remaining explosive and removed and taken ashore.
The 36 live devices were destroyed at sea by the specialist contractor, before resurveying using ROVs to certify the seabed Free From Explosives (FFE).
DONG Energy Project Manager, Eleftheria Melekou, said: “As a routine part of the preparatory work before construction of an offshore wind farm, seabed surveys are carried out to ensure the seabed is clear of obstacles including unexploded ordnance.”
“This is standard procedure, although the number of items discovered was a surprise and the most we have seen on a DONG Energy project to date.”
Southern North Sea
The Southern North Sea is widely known for its heavy military conflict throughout both world war one and two.
It is standard procedure for all sites within the area to be surveyed for unexploded ordinance before any work commences, whether that be on offshore wind or offshore oil and gas.
It is also common for heavy storms to unearth unexploded ordinance along the UK’s south east coastline and beaches.