150 ferry passengers stranded after WWII bomb found.

River passengers stranded in WWII bomb alert

Press Association
Tuesday May 16, 2006

Almost 150 passengers and 101 crew remain stranded on two ferries on the river Mersey today after a large bomb was seen floating in the water.

The 500lb device, thought to date from the second world war, was reported to Liverpool coastguard after being seen near the entrance to Twelve Quays Dock, in Birkenhead, at around midnight.

The ferries, Mersey Viking and Dublin Viking, were ordered to wait further up the river when they arrived in the city at 3.40am and 4.30am respectively.

Mersey Viking has 64 passengers and 55 crew on board, while there are 81 passengers and 46 crew on board Dublin Viking.

A Royal Navy bomb disposal team is liaising with other agencies to resolve the situation.

"The likely plan is that the navy will move the bomb to deeper water and detonate it somewhere safe, where it is not close to shipping lanes, underground power cables and the like," Craig Sim, the Liverpool coastguard watch assistant, said.

"They probably wouldn't start that until low water, which is at 8.18am in Liverpool."

One of the two tunnels under the Mersey has been closed as a precaution.

It is not often

that we see WW2 500 lb. bombs floating on the water. They don't float. They wouldn't float if the casings were full of helium instead of H.E..
In fact, I think it was on the riverbed. It was found by the Royal Navy minesweeper HMS Atherstone. It was taken out to sea and detonated. In fact, only a third of all World War II bombs around England have been recoverd, which quite scares me.

The Times May 17, 2006

Luftwaffe brings Mersey to a halt
By Russell Jenkins

NEARLY 150 passengers and 100 crew were stranded on ferries in the Mersey yesterday after divers discovered a Second World War bomb on the seabed just outside Liverpool.

Thousands of commuters were delayed and motorists had to take a long detour after the Wallasey Tunnel closed and trains on the Wirral loopline were halted at rush hour as a precaution while the device was dragged eight miles out to sea to be blown up.

The controlled explosion was conducted late last night, sending spray nearly 200ft (60m) into the air, and making a noise that could be heard more than 15 miles away.

The bomb, which was 7ft long and just over 2ft wide, was found on the riverbed near the Twelve Quays ferry terminal, at Birkenhead, by the Royal Navy minesweeper HMS Atherstone, which had been carrying out a routine harbour survey.

A team of divers was then called in from the Naval Base at Faslane on the Clyde.

Commander Chris Davies, from the 3rd Mine Countermeasure Squad, said: “It was dragged 17 miles and the plume of water went 50m to 60m high, which was then followed by a dirty looking bubble.

“The operation was more complex because of the location and its proximity to the tunnels and the dangers to the public. We have recovered only a third of all World War Two bombs around England.”

The delay-fused bomb, known as a PC 500, is thought to have been exposed by recent dredging work. It was found close to Morpeth Dock, a target for the Luftwaffe in 1940-41.

Police immediately imposed an exclusion zone around the bomb, which was lifted from the seabed with a flotation bag. At low tide it was raised to within 10ft of the surface and towed out to sea to a point marked by a buoy.

As a precaution both routes into the Wallasey Tunnel were closed at the height of the rush hour. Traffic was diverted from the M53 to the alternative Birkenhead Tunnel. The Mersey Viking and the Dublin Viking finally arrived in port yesterday afternoon, about six hours late.

Between July 1940 and January 1942 the Luftwaffe made 68 raids on Liverpool. About 4,000 people were killed, a similar number were seriously injured, and 10,000 homes were destroyed.

Wow I hope they documented this with pics at least. Would have loved to seen a piece of history before.... it became pieces of history.
So do I. It might be on the TV news tonight.

Still, if they haven't, there's many more around waiting still to be found.

Hopefully, not in my garden.

My town was bombed in both World Wars. During WWI, it was bombed by the German zepellins, and we've got photos of houses destroyed by them. During WWI, Britain became the first country in history to be bombed by enemy aircraft.

Then we were bombed by the Luftwaffe during WWII. The town's University was built on top of the site of some houses that were bombed by the Luftwaffe and several people were killed.
German zepellins, you'd think even during WW1, The British would have been able to shoot the magority down.

What town do you come from?

If they do have pics let me know. I've not seen anything about this in our newspapers and since it is a rather small story in Europe I doubt we will. I know they often find bombs in france and blow them up from both world wars, but I wish they'd catalog them and take pics of them. Don't know it's always been soemthing which has interested me.

Have they found any V1's or V2's lately?
I come from Bolton, about 16 miles from Manchester. I should be able to find plenty of pictures of buildings that have been bombed. I'll probably post some here later.

Royal Navy divers tow the bomb out to sea.

Here's a story from January -

Risk to builders from wartime bombs
By Paul Stokes
(Filed: 16/01/2006)

Construction workers' lives could be at risk from unexploded Second World War bombs during the regeneration of Britain's industrial cities.

Experts believe the threat is being underestimated by developers as more than a dozen people have died in such incidents on mainland Europe over the past decade.

Many sites are being redeveloped for only the second time since the war and most post-war building did not involve deep piling.

During the Blitz, one in 10 German bombs did not go off. It is believed that many that fell on existing bomb sites were never found, while others were abandoned as they were too difficult to recover.

Mike Sainsbury, a bomb disposal contractor, says: "We accept that at some point someone is going to hit a bomb with a drilling rig or a piling rig and there will be an incident."

A BBC investigation for Inside Out has discovered documents suggesting that an unexploded wartime bomb may be buried under the site of a major new redevelopment in Hull.

Developers of The Boom, a £100 million leisure and housing complex, are planning to examine the site, including carrying out underground checks if necessary.

... I am glad I live in Canada, far away from sleeping bombs :/