Mersey ferries....and an unexploded bomb.!

Frank P
16th May 2006, 12:11
On the local news this morning.
A WW11 bomb has been found in the River Mersey, and 2 Ferries from Ireland with 250 passengers onboard have had to wait several hours out at sea, while the bomb which was a big one (500 klg's, over 1000 lbs) is being removed.


16th May 2006, 13:05
From the BBC Merseyside site today -

About 250 ferry passengers and crew are stranded on ships after a 500lb (227kg) bomb was found in the River Mersey.
The explosive, from World War II, was discovered by the Royal Navy at Twelve Quays dock, Birkenhead.

The Mersey Viking and Dublin Viking, travelling from Dublin and Belfast, have been waiting since the early hours of Tuesday to dock.

Navy divers are currently moving the 7ft (2.1m) device out to a safe area of the Irish Sea to detonate it.

The Wallasey tunnel and a Merseyrail line was closed for about 45 minutes when the operation began, but Merseytravel said disruption was kept to a minimum.

It would cause a significant blast if it detonated

Commander Chris Davies
Royal Navy

The German penetration bomb is being moved to be detonated in deeper water in the Irish Sea before the two Norfolk Line ferries will be allowed to dock.

The Mersey Viking, which has 64 passengers and 55 crew, and the Dublin Viking, which has 81 passengers and 46 crew, arrived in the early hours.

Commander Chris Davies, from the Royal Navy, told the BBC that the bomb was a German 500lb air-drop explosive.

He said: "It would cause a significant blast if it detonated.

"The measures that we have put in place with Merseyside Police and the Liverpool port authorities ensure public safety and the remainder of the operation is to minimise disruption to the city and the Port of Liverpool.

Navy teams are moving the device from the Mersey out to sea

"We routinely carry out these operations and they [the Navy team] are towing the device at a sufficient length, so that if it did detonate, they would be safe."

A Navy spokeswoman said a lifting bag was attached to the bomb to raise it to a depth of 3m (9ft).

"They then attached a tow line and are currently towing it at slow speed to North Bar Light, a safe area identified by the Coastguard," she said.

"Once they get there, a diver will go down and attach plastic explosives to the device in order to detonate it."


16th May 2006, 15:49
They are all safely home now but they were not in much danger, they were kept out at the bar or so the news says Bob

16th May 2006, 16:55
That'l interesting Frank. Something that big would surely only be uncovered by construction work of some kind as it is unlikely to shifted by the tide after all this time (or is it??).

Do you know how it come to light?


16th May 2006, 16:58
I noticed there were two threads on this topic so I have merged them.


Peter Fielding
16th May 2006, 17:03
Report I heard on the radio said that it was located by an RN minesweeper, but didn't say whether the m/s was specifically looking for it, or if not why it was playing around in the area.

16th May 2006, 18:18
The minesweeper has been cruising up and down the Mersey continuously for a few days now. I assumed she was carrying out some form of survey.

wee bobby
16th May 2006, 18:22
picked up a few of bombs and mines -topedeos whilst trawling off-n/shields up to the Forth and even off Figals cave in the range of--250lbs-500lbs & 1000lbs nice explosions-even had a depth charge someone thought it was agarden roller ,so it was left lying on the pier at seahouses OUCH!!!!

Frank P
16th May 2006, 19:07
I have just seen on the local TV station that the bomb was found during a survey of the area, and at 1000lbs it is one of the biggest bombs to be dropped on the area.
The bomb will be exploded this evening (16/5/06) at 20.15 (8.15pm), off the coast at Formby.


16th May 2006, 19:51
Watching from New Brighton today, saw the bomb or rather the marker attached to the bomb being towed out to sea.

Never seen the River Mersey so busy as the ships were allowed in and out afterwards, as some had been trapped in the river too.

Must still be a few bombs about, I am sure. They used to be discovered regularly when I was kid. Mostly on New Brighton beach after the winter storms.

Used to watch the Army and sometimes the Navy blow them up in situ. Big bang, loads of sand everywhere and loads of gulls landing on the beach to collect the lugworms, sand eels and anything else which had got caught up in the blast.


16th May 2006, 22:07
According to the BBC website the bomb was successfully detonated this evening - more details here:

Apparently it went "BANG" and created a 30 foot high splash.


16th May 2006, 22:44
And on a lighter note, it was not painted "claret and blue" and left there by west ham fans... LOL

17th May 2006, 16:58
Poor old West Ham, they wuz robbed!