Ukraine war: Drifting mines pose deadly threat in Black Sea waters

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Bomb disposal experts say Ukrainian mines that float into Romania’s Black Sea waters pose a deadly risk to shipping. 

Two of the mines were found recently: one of them 3km from the shore, but another was close to a crowded holiday resort. 

Drifting bombs pose a serious threat to cargo ships, sea mammals, divers and swimmers alike.

“These devices are dangerous; they were designed to destroy a ship and sink it” said Captain Mihai Iordache, Deputy Head of Romaniaäs EOD Combat Divers Section.

“Therefore, we recommend that any device that seems suspicious and is noticed in the water or on the coast be reported immediately.

“Depending on currents and waves, the mine can move in any direction” he added.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine and the discovery of floating mines, military personnel from the Romanian Naval Forces have changed their training strategies.

In partnership with Bulgaria, Georgia, the United States and Turkey, military divers are training together and diving some 50 metres deep in search of sea mines.

“The Romanian Naval Forces are carrying out missions to map, identify and locate the mines… here we have developed our training procedures for real situations”, says Corneliu Pavel, the spokesperson for the Romanian Navy. 

So far, 22 sea mines have been discovered in the Black Sea: two in Romanian waters, three in Turkey, sixteen in Ukraine and one in Bulgaria.