American helicopters of the Sixth Fleet began the hazardous task of detecting war-time mines in the blocked Suez Canal on Wednesday (24 April), just a short distance from Port Said.
AERIAL V Iwo Jima aircraft carrier
GV Helicopters on deck (2 shots)
SV Control tower
SV Helicopter hovering above deck
LV PAN Helicopter towing magnetic mine detector through water
AERIAL V Helicopter towing detector through water
Initials BB/0210 DN/JB/BB/0220
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Background: American helicopters of the Sixth Fleet began the hazardous task of detecting war-time mines in the blocked Suez Canal on Wednesday (24 April), just a short distance from Port Said.
Working from the aircraft carrier, Iwo Jima, the helicopters began towing magnetic sweeping devices beneath the canal surface to locate the mines and other ordinance left behind from seven years of Arab-Israeli conflict.
After detection the explosives will be either exploded or recovered from the canal for defusing.
The clearing of explosives from the canal is being carried out by a joint American, British and Egyptian task force and is indicative of the new-found friendship between Egypt and the United States.
SYNOPSIS: The massive American aircraft carrier, Iwo Jima, at anchor off the Suez Canal, near Port Said, this week as efforts to clear the mine-laden canal get fully under way. The American task force, the largest in the canal clearing operations, is tangible evidence of the new rapport between the United Stats and Egypt. Three minesweepers from Britain's Royal Navy are also assisting the operations.
The Americans, experienced in such operations after the clearing of Haiphong Harbour in North Vietnam, are providing Sea Stallion helicopters capable of towing sophisticated mine detectors below the canal surface.
After detection by the helicopters the mines, and other ordinance left over from seven years of fighting between Israel and Egypt, will be exploded by bomb disposal experts. Those which cannot be exploded will be recovered for defusing. Clearing the canal is expected to take until at least June to complete.