A HUGE German wartime mine packed full of 350kg of explosives was blown up after being caught off the Ayrshire coast by marine researchers. 

The dangerous device was unexpectedly hauled onto a vessel in The Firth of Clyde with seven stunned crew on board on Tuesday, December 1.

Irvine Times:

The wartime mine which would have been laid by a German submarine in 80 years ago off Ailsa Craig, was brought onto the deck of the boat along with fish. 

Royal Navy bomb disposal experts were called into action. The team from Northern Diving Group, based at HM Naval base Faslane raced to the scene to recover the mine.

Troon Lifeboat headed out to the Marine Scotland research boat to help evacuate crew around 2.30pm on Tuesday along with Rothesay Coastguard Rescue Team. 

The trawler was then sailed vessel to Ettrick Bay on the Isle of Bute where a huge, controlled explosion sent “mud and water” flying into the air.

The team lowered the ordnance to the seabed off Ettrick Beach, before they blew up the device.

Lieutenant Commander Mark Shaw, Commanding Officer of Northern Diving Group said: “Considering it had been in the water for around 80 years, the mine’s condition was remarkable,” said Lieutenant Commander Mark Shaw, Commanding Officer of Northern Diving Group.

“From the initial pictures we were able to easily identify the mine type and, importantly, determine that the explosive fill was intact and therefore presented a significant hazard.

“The vessel was diverted to Ettrick Bay and met by my team, led by Petty Officer (Diver) Robert McCann who safely dealt with the situation.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “An unexploded World War 2 mine was found by the Marine Research Vessel Scotia while undertaking critical national marine research around the west coast of Scotland on Tuesday.

"Marine Scotland’s emergency response was activated and the vessel worked with HM Coastguard and bomb disposal experts to contain the incident and safely remove the mine which has since been dealt with through a controlled explosion.

“The safety of our staff and crew remained of paramount importance as we worked with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to coordinate the emergency response. At all times the incident was handled in order to minimise the risk to the public.”