The container was thought to have come loose from a local dhow which had previously ¬†reported the incident. In an official release from the Australian Ministry of Defence, crew members from HMAS Newcastle identified the floating hazard while patrolling in the frigate’s embarked helicopter.
Specialist divers were dispatched to investigate, who placed explosives to destroy the container to prevent any potential accident with other vessels in the area.
After setting up the demolition explosive and igniting the safety fuse, the team quickly moved to a safe distance.
The detonation occurred as planned consigning the container to the depths. Matthew Stobo, officer of the watch on board HMAS Newcastle and sub-lieutenant, said, ‚ÄúWhile you can‚Äôt plan for these things, it‚Äôs important that we do our part in keeping the seas safe for all. There‚Äôs so much traffic out here, this hazard could have caused a problem if left floating like that.‚Äù
HMAS Newcastle has left the Middle East Area of Operations after spending five months assigned to Operation Slipper, the Australian Defence Force anti-piracy and maritime security mission to the region.