Press Notice No: 102-12
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Posted 19:36 GMT
TWO VESSELS IN SHEERNESS HARBOUR REPORT SHELLS ONBOARD
Two vessels docked in Sheerness Harbour this afternoon reported that they had suspected unexploded shells on board.
Thames Coastguard received the first call at 2pm from Medway VTS. They reported that a multi-purpose catamaran workboat in Sheerness Harbour had an 18-inch by 5-inch suspected unexploded shell on their deck.
The second report of an unexploded shell on board a vessel in Sheerness Harbour came from Medway VTS at just before 3.30pm. A 90-metre cable layer had a 12-inch by 4-inch suspected unexploded shell onboard.
Sheppey Coastguard Rescue Team went to the scene whilst Thames Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre liased with the Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit from Portsmouth. They arrived at Sheerness at 6pm. After examining both shells they declared the ordnance to be safe.
Thames Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre Watch Manager Karen Paradise said:
As a precaution we evacuated a total of 39 people from the two vessels and put a 100-metre exclusion zone around their berths in Sheerness Harbour.
Now that EOD have declared the two shells to be safe the exclusion zone has been lifted and the crew have returned to their vessels.
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Posted By: Maggie Hill
For further details contact:
The Maritime & Coastguard Agency Press Office
023 8032 9401