I’ve raised fresh concerns with the Ministry of Defence’s capabilities to detect unexploded ordnance (UXO) in the River Clyde.
I originally highlighted the problem of UXO when an unexploded British-made seamine was found near an outdoor swimming pool in Gourock. Another World War Two era mine was later entangled in a trawler’s net near the Isle of Cumbrae.
Following a meeting with UK Government ministers regarding the issue, I met with industry experts who have extensive experience of identifying and dealing with UXO.
Bernie Morrison of PanGeo Subsea and Calum MacMillan of Argyll Workboats Ltd indicated that the existing technology currently used by Royal Navy Minesweepers has difficulty in accurately detecting UXOs located beneath the seabed.
It is very concerning that the MoD has not equipped the Royal Navy with the tools it needs to find all types of UXO in the Clyde.
While other countries clear their shores, the UK Government continues to deny that we have a UXO problem.
It’s also disappointing that the MOD refused my meeting request to discuss how Scottish companies could be part of the solution in making our waters safer from UXOs.
I will continue to press the MOD on this issue, we cannot afford to wait until a serious incident occurs.