There Is A Naval Mine Floating In The Waters Near Kitsap Naval Base In Washington (Updated)
Even if it is many decades old it could be a major hazard to ships and it isn't clear how it made it so deep into the sound in the first place.
There appears to be a contact-style naval mine floating in the waters near Bainbridge Island, Washington. This island is located directly across from Seattle and vessels have to navigate around either side of it to reach the sprawling Kitsap Naval Base. The base is home to one of the Navy's most important shipyards as it is capable of servicing even the largest supercarriers and is a major decommissioning site for retired nuclear powered vessels.
KGW.com reports that the mine was spotted near Brownsville Marina, which sits across the channel from the western side of the island. The Coast Guard has simply called the object 'potentially unexploded ordnance' and is patrolling a 1,500 meter perimeter around it. Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) divers are said to have inspected the device, but we don't know yet what they discovered.
How a naval mine would end up so deep in the Puget Sound and near such a critical waterway is unclear, but naval mines dating back to World War II are known to still be out there. Maybe one made its way from across the Pacific over the decades and just came into view now.
The use of naval mines dates back to the Revolutionary War, but the threat of naval mine warfare has been increasing in recent months as some actors look towards denying access to critical waterways as a means of leverage and to gain an asymmetric military advantage. Even on a peer-state level, the U.S. is spinning up its mine warfare programs after decades of remaining largely dormant. But that doesn't explain the peculiar presence of this mine.
The Puget Sound area has had a rash of odd military related news in recent months, including the supposed photograph of a missile being launched over Whidbey Island that we totally debunked and the bizarre stolen Q-400 incident that made national headlines.
Hopefully this strange appearance of what could be an antique naval mine near Seattle will be the last of the excitement for a while.
We will update this story as more information becomes available.
Update: 6:05pm PDT—
They are attempting to slowly tow the mine into Keyport. People that live near the shore have been told to shelter in place.
Update: 7:23pm PDT—
Check out this video of divers attaching a line to the mine. Remember it the next time you feel like your job is too hard and that you don't get enough recognition or pay!
Last Update: 12:10am PDT—
We have posted a new article showing the mine's detonation here.
Contact the author: Tyler@thedrive.com