PAG, July 31, 2020 — An underwater researcher from Rijeka found two World War II German anti-ship mines in one dive near the Croatia island of Pag.
“A few days ago, I received a message from my friend Petar Smojver, a well-known Croatian sailor. He noticed a strange object in a small bay on the island of Pag. I was nearby, so I headed to the bay to see for myself,” Velimir Vrzić told Morski HR.
He also provided exclusive footage to Morski HR, which clearly shows the danger which has been lurking at the bottom of the Adriatic for more than 7 decades.
Sailor Spotted Mine in Pag Bay Where Boats Drop Anchor
“Heading toward the bay at a depth of 5 meters with an underwater scooter; I found a metal object which resembles a German anti-ship mine model EMC. I noted the position and continued toward the bay. After going another kilometer underwater and entering the bay, I found another mine that resembles the German anti-ship mine model UMB.” Petar Smojver, a well-known sailor, spotted the object while anchoring with his boat there a few days ago. “Unbelievable! Two mines in one dive. I believe that small yachts and speedboats have been literally dropping anchors on a mine for years,” recounts Vrzić.
Harder to Find a Mushroom in the Woods: Croatia Diver
“I keep going. A few hundred meters away I found the “Trolley” which the anti-ship mine normally sits upon on a warship – or a minelayer. I took notes, photo, videos and GPS coordinates and headed back to land. The beach where I had entered was a few kilometers away. I’m thinking about going back. How is this possible? When I’m in the woods it’s harder for me to find a mushroom than an underwater mine. Terrible. I know that there are some leftover mines from World War II, but this many? Of course, I submitted an official letter to the appropriate authorities, including the Police Administration of Lika-Senj and the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure,” Vrzić explains. This is not the first time he has found mines underwater.
Diver: German Anti-Ship Mines contain up to half ton of TNT!
“I learned that during the Second World War German forces, in the absence of a navy and air power at the end of the war, relied on counter-landing operations. They laid anti-ship mines on the approaches to all critical ports, estimates run as high as 6000. But to find two in one dive? I am concerned about the divers, the MUP (Croatia Police) special forces, who will be removing these 70-year-old underwater mines. Each mine contains 70 to 500 kilograms of TNT. There is no opportunity for error! They are the true heroes,” Vrzić continues, and looks forward to more underwater adventures.
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