As always the Royal Navy stands ready to respond to these call-outs and keep people safe.

Lieutenant Mike St Pierre RN

“At this stage it is too early to tell when normality will be restored to Portsmouth Harbour,” said Lieutenant Mike St Pierre, the officer leading the bomb disposal team on the scene.

“But my team of Royal Navy divers are assessing the situation to work out how we can remove the bomb swiftly and safely with the help of the contractors, the Queen’s Harbour Master, Hampshire Constabulary and our operations centre.

“As always the Royal Navy stands ready to respond to these call-outs and keep people safe. Despite being old, these devices can pose a very serious threat.”

This type of Second World War German SC250 bomb weighs 500lb and contains 290lb of high explosives.

Millions of pounds have been spent on works to prepare Portsmouth Naval Base to accommodate the Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers – HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.

Dredging operations are under way to deepen the main channel used by shipping in Portsmouth by one metre. New power facilities are also being built, navigational aids installed and jetties upgraded to take the carriers alongside.

Mine Clearance Diver

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