A mine found bobbing along Washington state’s Puget Sound this week that was subsequently blown up was an unarmed training mine that the Navy placed in the water back in 2005, the sea service announced Thursday.
“It has been confirmed the device destroyed Tuesday was a positively buoyant, inert training mine,” a Navy release states.
Locals first spotted the mine Tuesday afternoon between Brownsville Marina and Bainbridge Island, a few miles away from the Navy’s Undersea Warfare Command base in Keyport, also known as “Torpedo Town, USA.”
The Coast Guard cordoned off the area and technicians detonated the mine Tuesday night.
The mine was found to have been placed as part of a command exercise in 2005.
“During this exercise, inert training mines were placed in areas between Brownsville, Keyport, and Bainbridge Island,” the release states. “Only a small number of the training mines were positively buoyant. Not all training mines were recovered.”
The exercise looked at how unmanned underwater vehicles could detect underwater objects and avoid submerged obstacles, according to the Navy.
“In order to avoid similar incidents in the future, the Navy will survey the exercise areas and recover any remaining positively buoyant mines,” the release states.
Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.