• March 29, 2019

With NATO just about to commence its twice yearly series of military exercises beach cleaners in Tirree unexpectedly came across debris from an earlier exercise (link):


In this instance the object the young boy is seated on is an inert item of debris from US Navy minesweeping gear.

However all exercise debris is not so benign. Just over a decade ago IOM Newspapers carried graphic colour footage shot by divers of the debris strewn on the seabed at the former Jurby sea bombing range. A subsequent request for information from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) elicited the response that:

“Many weapon types were used at Jurby Head ranging from a few lbs in weight to 1,000 lbs. Most weapons were inert, although it is possible that some live ones were dropped”.

They also said:

“Any attempt to clear the sea-bed within, or close to, range areas is unavoidably dangerous for the personnel involved”

(Source ‘MOD DSC-Envi’ correspondence March 2007)

However the MOD do carry our munitions debris clearance in the UK and indeed its undertaken off Cape Wrath (Scotland) on an annual basis.

Image: US Navy military debris – Tiree, Scotland

Bernard Moffatt

Celtic League Military Monitoring

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