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Rocket find at wind farm 

Credit:  Hartlepool Mail, www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk 25 June 2012 ~~

Two unexploded devices from the Second World War have been found at the spot where a wind farm is being built.

Divers were doing seabed checks in the area of the Teesside Offshore Wind Farm to make sure there were no obstacles in the way of the next area of development.

But they first discovered a Second World War vintage Mattress rocket which was used by both the British and Canadian air forces.

The 6ft long and 3-inch diameter weapon weighs 30 kilogrammes and carries three kilos of explosives in its warhead. It was discovered by divers during a routine search of the area.

A second similar rocket was believed to have been discovered days later.

Both have since been safely detonated.

Retired Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander Richard Lowther, from the MACC Explosive Ordnance Disposal bomb disposal company, which is handling the project, said: “It is routine to have underwater checks of obstacles and we were doing it on the Teesside Offshore Wind Farm.

“This area was heavily bombed in the Second World War and it was heavily mined as well.”

He said the job of searching the area was done commercially by ex-Royal Navy personnel.

He said the Mattress type rocket would have been fired in banks of half a dozen and was used by the British and Canadian forces on sea and on land during the Second World War.

Experts said neither of the rockets posed a significant risk and were destroyed under licence by a small explosive charge

Hartlepool is the main construction hub for the Teesside Offshore Windfarm – a massive project to build 27 turbines off the Teesside coastline which is clearly visible from Seaton Carew.

The EDF Energy Renewables scheme, off the coast of Redcar, is expected to be up and running by this autumn.

Already, 23 out of the 27 of the base structures, called monopiles, have been installed slightly ahead of schedule.

Hartlepool was chosen as the hub for the Redcar project because of its port’s deep water and dedicated assembly areas with direct access to the North Sea.

When operational, the capacity of the 2.3 megawatt turbines will be 62 megawatts which is enough green energy to power up to 40,000 households.

Source:  Hartlepool Mail, www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk 25 June 2012

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