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Published: 22 august 2013 18:01

Two naval mines detected during mine-clearing operation near Lithuania

Klaipėdoje išsirikiavę laivai pasirengę pirmadienį prasidėsiančioms pratyboms
J.Andriejauskaitės/15min.lt nuotr. / Open Spirit

Warships participating in the multinational naval mine clearance and ordnance disposal operation Open Spirit 2013 yielded two naval mines in Lithuania's territory of the Baltic Sea over the first three days of the event.

Dutch minehunter Makkum (M857) and Danish minehunter Thetis (F357) have detected a naval mine dating back to the times of war each, the Lithuanian Defense Ministry said.

Found lying on the seabed at a depth of more than 50 meters, the mines will shortly be neutralized.

From August 19, 12 vessels and 4 diving teams participating in Open Spirit 2013 have been conducting surveillance of operation areas of the Baltic seafloor in Lithuania’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zone hunting for mines and other explosive ordnance.

The multinational mine clearance operation OPEN SPIRIT 2013 is underway in the Lithuanian territorial waters and exclusive economic zone of the Baltic Sea on August 19 through 29.

According to the press release, the key aim of the multinational naval mine clearance and ordnance disposal operation OPEN SPIRIT 2013 is hunting for and disposing of naval mines and other explosive ordnance remaining in the Baltic Sea from World War I and World War II. The naval event also improves interoperability and understanding among the participating personnel, and enhances mine clearance skills and procedures.

Open Spirit 2013 is the largest mine clearance operation in Lithuania since 2010.

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