Royal Navy clears Libyan mine

HMS Brocklesby, one of the Royal Navy’s mine countermeasures vessels, has destroyed a mine laid by pro-Gaddafi forces in the port of Misurata on the Libyan coast.

Forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi have made repeated attempts to close down the port to limit the flow of humanitarian assistance to the population of Misurata.

Using her sonar and underwater mine disposal system, Seafox, HMS Brocklesby successfully located and destroyed a buoyant mine just one mile (1.6km) from the entrance to the harbour.

The mine, containing more than 100 kilogrammes of high explosives, had been crudely placed by pro-Gaddafi forces using an inflatable dinghy to transport it out to sea.

”]Lieutenant Commander James Byron, Commanding Officer of HMS Brocklesby, said:

“I am extremely pleased we have been able to dispose of ordnance in the approaches to Misurata that is now a vital lifeline for the delivery of humanitarian aid into Libya.

“Our actions on behalf of NATO are directly contributing to the continued welfare of the Libyan people. In helping to keep the port of Misurata open we are ensuring the continued flow of essential medical assistance and allowing the evacuation of innocent civilians from the country.

“This is exactly the kind of operation my crew have trained for, dealing with live mines posing a threat to legitimate shipping within sight and range of shore bombardment. My team have handled themselves superbly in the execution of this mission, reacting stoutly to the very real threat posed by rockets and artillery ashore.”

Misurata is a critical port for the continued flow of humanitarian aid into Libya and for the evacuation of displaced persons to safety.

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HMS Brocklesby is the fifth of the Royal Navy’s eleven Hunt Class Mine Countermeasures Vessels (MCMVs) and is a member of the Second Mine Countermeasures Squadron based at Portsmouth.

HMS Brocklesby’s primary role is minehunting.  Her hull and most of the superstructure are constructed from GRP that is both non-magnetic and strong enough to withstand the explosive shocks likely to be encountered in a mine environment.  The ship’s noise signature has also been reduced to a minimum by tuning and matching all the main machinery and by taking great care with all resilient mountings.



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