Something nasty in the water

Whats described as a 12 inch projectile has been destroyed by the British military after being found on a beach on the North East of the Isle of Man. Report here from Isle of Man Newspaper:…

It’s unclear what type of round it was or its origin but testing of munitions has been undertaken at several ranges on the coast of SW Scotland and Cumbria. There is severe munitions pollution in an area stretching from Eskmeals in Cumbria to the Beaufort Dyke and also off the NW of Mann where the Jurby sea bombing range operated for half a century.

The Celtic League first raised concerns about Beaufort Dyke and the testing of conventional and depleted uranium (DU) munitions at Dundrennan near Kirkcudbright over 30 years ago. MOD sources at the time insisted there were no dangers and no pollution from such weapon however subsequently a Sunday Herald report in 2004 found the MOD had lied over the effects of DU.

In addition to shore based firings sea trials with DU rounds have been carried on by naval vessels in the waters off the North of the Isle of Man and in addition USAF A-10 aircraft have tested similar weapons at ranges at Luce Bay in Scotland just north of the Point of Ayre.

Munitions dumps to the North West of Mann also pose a problem – the Beaufort Dyke site contains a staggering one million tonnes of munitions in a deep trench in the sea bed. These munitions occasionally migrate onto beaches on the west and south of the Isle of Man and Ireland and indeed phosphorus based munitions have been found as far south as the coast of Co Louth.

The Beaufort Dump was assessed by the Scottish government about two decades ago and found to be (for the most part) stable provided it was undisturbed and sea bed activity in the area is precluded although the construction of gas and electricity interconnectors through the area prompted a series of incidents some years ago.

Image: The MOD simply tipped tens of thousands of shells – some containing poison gas – over the side of vessels into Beaufort Dyke. The operation continued for years and is well documented in ‘The Unknown Fleet’ by Reg Cooley which records the post war operations of the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) maritime section.

Bernard Moffatt
pp Celtic League Military Monitoring



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