WW2 bomb on lifeboat shift

The Hastings RNLI lifeboat was at sea for a total of 11 hours on its last shift, after the discovery of an unexploded torpedo and two fishing trawlers getting their gear entangled.

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Gone fishing. Caught bomb.

The trawler Joanna C, which caught a WW2 torpedo in her nets Credit: RNLI

The Hastings all-weather lifeboat crew were called to an incident three miles offBeachy Head when the beam trawler ‘Joanna C’ dredged up what was described as a torpedo. It was identified as a British 500lb World War Two bomb, in good conditionwith detonators intact.

The trawler anchored and a bomb disposal unit was despatched from Portsmouth. Several hours later the team had arrived in Eastbourne and were transported to the trawler by the lifeboat.

It was decided to carry out a controlled explosion of the device.

The bomb was transported by ‘Joanna C’_ to shallower water in Pevensey Bay, with explosive charges attached, lowered to the seabed and detonated. The explosion was felt at least a mile inland. Having spent nearly 11 hours at sea, the lifeboat returned to station and was made ready for service.

Lifeboat called twice to assist fishing trawlers

Hastings lifeboat was called to assist two fishing trawlers which had got their fishing gear intertwined. The vessels eventually managed to disentangle themselves.

When a later routine call from Dover Coastguard to the Dutch boat ‘Zuiderkruiz’ did not get a response, another alert was raised. Once more the volunteer crew of Eastbourne lifeboat went to investigate.

On the scene it became obvious that despite slight damage from the collision all was well aboard the trawler and the reason for their lack of response to Dover Coastguard was that all crew members were on deck repairing their damaged fishing gear.


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