Controlled bomb explosion off Selsey Bill

Divers descend to retrieve the bomb'PICTURE BY MAX GILLIGAN
Divers descend to retrieve the bomb'PICTURE BY MAX GILLIGAN

SELSEY lifeboat station was evacuated to allow an unexploded bomb to detonate.

An unexploded 500lb second world war bomb was discovered by a diver on Saturday (August 24) in the sea very close to the boathouses.

It was verified by a Royal Navy ordnance disposal team from Portsmouth yesterday (August 25) and an excavation, removal and controlled explosion took place today (August 26).

Before excavation commenced, both Selsey lifeboats were launched at 9.30am as a precaution and stood off at a safe distance.

The bomb was safely excavated by divers after being supported in an inflatable bag.

It was then towed to a position around one-and-a-half nautical miles east-south-east of Selsey Bill.

It was exploded at 12.15pm.

Both lifeboats acted as guard vessels and maintained a 700m cordon around the bomb until it was successfully detonated.

After confirming the device was inert, permission was given for the cordon to be collapsed and both boats returned to the lifeboat station around 1pm.