Fresh concerns have been raised regarding unexploded ordnance after a sea mine from the Second World War was caught up in a fishing net in the Firth of Clyde.
The explosives were found less than 100 metres from the Skelmorlie Shipping Channel and a nearby oil tanker was diverted as a precaution.
These precautionary measures come in the wake of other recent incidents involving unexploded ordnance. In October 2015 parts of Gourock were evacuated when an unexploded sea mine was found near Gourock outdoor swimming pool. In May 2016 the main beach area of Largs was evacuated over fears that unexploded ordnance had washed ashore.
Inverclyde MP, Ronnie Cowan said,
“I recently met with UK Government ministers about the issue of unexploded ordnance in the Clyde and surrounding waters. I was giving assurances that commercial and military shipping lanes are clear and monitored.
“Yet despite these assurance regular incidents are still occurring and the UK Government should be doing more to clear these explosives before they are caught in a fishing nets or washed up on shore.
“Private companies assure me they are better equipped than the Royal Navy to identify devices below the seabed. This is just another example of the lack of investment that is diminishing the capability of our armed forces. Meanwhile the UK Government is committing to a new generation of ruinously expensive nuclear weapons.
“The UK Government must not be complacent with this issue, particularly as only 20% of the total ordnance dropped in the sea has ever been accounted for.”
Patricia Gibson MP represents the constituency in which the latest incident occurred, Mrs Gibson said,
“Given the amount of recreational boating activities, commercial and ferry traffic on the Clyde, it is very important that the MoD is able to reassure the public that the safety of the Clyde is treated with paramount importance.
“The presence of Trident on the Clyde also throws into stark relief just how potentially dangerous this situation is. I know that many of my own constituents in North Ayrshire & Arran will, quite rightly, be deeply concerned about this situation”