Glasgow & West Scotland

Cordon lifted after unexploded Gourock mine moved

Royal Navy’s Northern Diving Unit
Image caption The Royal Navy's Northern Diving Unit was involved in moving the mine to safety

Residents are returning to their homes after an operation to move an unexploded mine discovered in the Firth of Clyde.

An area of the town near the swimming pool had been evacuated for most of the morning and early afternoon.

Other residents close by had been advised to open windows, stay indoors near walls and to avoid going outside.

An exclusion zone remains in force on the river while experts make safe the sea mine which was spotted on Monday.

It is thought to be a British mine, dating from the 1940s or 1950s.

The evacuation affected three streets, with wider safety advice issued to residents within 500m of the device.

'Precautionary measure'

There was also an exclusion zone at sea of about half a mile, and small boat owners were told not to sail during the operation.

Caledonian MacBrayne reported some disruption to ferry services, affecting sailings from Gourock and Rothesay.

Ch Insp Elliot Brown, the local area commander for Inverclyde, stressed that the evacuation had been a precautionary measure, and that there was no immediate danger to the community of Gourock.

Lt Cdr Tim Castrinoyannakis, the officer in charge of the Royal Navy's Northern Diving Unit, said that due to the deterioration of the mine it was not possible to conclude how much explosive material it still contained.

He said that because of this it was decided to move it to a safer place before dealing with it.

Inverclyde Council said: "Thanks to residents and businesses in Gourock for their patience while the cordon and safe evacuation procedures were carried out today."

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