Lithuanian mines neutralized

  • 2008-05-19
  • In cooperation with BNS

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

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

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

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

About 130 explosives dating back to WWI-WWII have been detected, identified and neutralized in Lithuanian territorial waters in the framework of MCOPLIT alone since 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 was taken over by the three Baltic States six years ago.