Lithuanian mines neutralized

  • 2008-05-19
  • In cooperation with BNS

VILNIUS- Warships foundand neutralized 10 explosives during a mine-clearing operation in Lithuania's waters, and also found the remains oftwo sunken ships marked on old sea-charts.

MCOPLIT-2008 international mine-clearingoperation was launched in the end of April and ended last Friday.

Representatives of Naval Forces of ninestates - Belgium, the United Kingdom, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Holland, France and Germany took part in the operation with 13 warships and twodiving teams. Having explored 420 sq. m. of the Baltic Sea bottom during the operation, six mines, two torpedoes, one missile andone depth-bomb were found and destroyed, Lithuania's Defense Ministry said.

Some 85,000 of various types of mines weredropped into the Baltic Sea during World War I and World War II .

About 130 explosives dating back to WWI-WWIIhave been detected, identified and neutralized in Lithuanian territorial waters in the framework of MCOPLIT alonesince 1996. Collected data about the bottom of the Baltic Sea is used to update topographic information.

The MCOPLIT mission was first launched by Sweden in 1996. The operation's organizational task wastaken over by the three Baltic States six years ago.