There was a major alert in the British sea-port of Folkestone on the Kent Coast on Friday (15 June).
There was a major alert in the British sea-port of Folkestone on the Kent Coast on Friday (15 June). A local fishing boat the "Fair Chance" entered the harbour early in the morning with what turned out to be a 350lb (159 killogrammes) war-time British Contact mine, entangled in its net.
As the fishing boast was dragging the mine into the harbour, its net snapped and the mine drifted to the bottom of the shallow water, 100 yards (metres) outside the harbour entrance. Police cleared the entire area surrounding the harbour. Houses were evacuated and all road traffic was stopped. Naval frogmen from Portsmouth set about trying to float the mine to the surface. It was a difficult operation and on one occasion the line broke.
Eventually the mine was brought to the surface, still attached to the fishing boat and was rowed two miles (3 kms) out to sea, where it was exploded.
Police described the emergency, which lasted eight hours, as "highly dangerous".