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Spanish Navy's bomb squad deactivates 60-millimetre mortar shell found on Andalusian beach
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Spanish Navy's bomb squad deactivates 60-millimetre mortar shell found on Andalusian beach

Explosives experts have reminded the public to leave them in situ and not to handle or move such finds as they can still present a danger, despite their age and weathering

La Voz

San Fernando

Wednesday, 8 May 2024, 23:42

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An explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team from the Spanish Navy's Cadiz diving unit (Unbudiz) has carried out out the identification and deactivation of a 60-millimetre mortar shell found. It was safely dealt with, as were the remains of more munitions of various calibres found on Camposoto beach in San Fernando by local residents last weekend.

Once the alarm had been raised as to their discovery, the headquarters of the Maritime Action Force, with the help of the Maritime Action Operations and Surveillance Centre (Covam), mobilised a team of EOD specialists to identify the munitions and make them safe.

On Friday 3 May the EOD officers went to the area near the bird-watching look-out on Arillo river in San Fernando where they identified a suspected weapon as the remains of a projectile. After verifying that it did not pose any risk of exploding, it was removed by authorised personnel to be destroyed off-site.

Back again on Sunday 5 May, EOD personnel went to access point No.4 on Camposoto beach , where they found the remains of yet another possible projectile. Once in the area, a wider search was carried out and they located and identified the 60-millimetre mortar shell and the remains of otherdevices.

All munitions were removed to a secure area to be destroyed in a controlledexplosion at a later date with the exception of the 60mm mortar shell. The latter was neutralised in situ using special explosives once it was verified that the area had been cleared for safety reasons. Officers from San Fernando's National Police force secured the perimeter with a tight cordon for the controlled explosion.

Following destruction of the mortar shell, the EOD team collected all remains of the device in order to avoid any harm to the local environment.

The Navy reminded members of the public that handling this type of munition is dangerous as the explosive charge inside usually remains in perfect condition despite weathering and age. It is therefore recommended not to handle them yourself and to notify the relevant authorities immediately upon making any such discovery.

Since January this year the EOD team of the Cadiz diving unit has attended 11 such incidents, deactivating or neutralising 15 explosive devices in Cadiz province.

The Navy's diving units not only have personnel specialised in EOD on land, but also teams of divers specialised in deactivating submerged mines (EOD-Sub). The Cadiz diving unit is part of the Maritime Action Force (FAM), charged with protecting national maritime interests and controlling maritime spaces of national sovereignty and interest.

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