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500-kg-large Soviet training mine found at Liepaja port

Photo: wikimapia.org.
During Flotex 2017 navy exercises, Mine Squadron dive team found an underwater object about 0.8 nautical miles away from Liepaja port’s northern gates. Upon closer inspection, it turned out that the object was a KMD 500 mine, as reported by Latvian Defence Ministry.

«Identifying the object was hard because the object remained underwater for a long time and was overgrown. Because of that, it was not possible to determine at first if it was a real or training mine. In accordance with procedures for disposal of undetonated munitions, a neutralization method was used to identify the mine,» said commander of the Mine Squadron Dive Team Armands Ronis.

Through cooperation with Liepaja port’s authority, as well as state and municipal police, the dive team performed neutralization of the mine using a controlled detonation method.

«After the neutralization procedure we found that the object is a 500-kg-large Soviet training mine that is not explosive,» said Ronis.

Because the mine presents no threat to human health, environment and infrastructure, there was no need to destroy it. Because of that, it was decided to pull it from the sea and deliver it on dry land. The mine is now located in the Baltic Diving School in Liepaja, the ministry explains.

As it is known, Flotex 2017 military exercises are currently taking place in Latvia’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zone. Exercises will continue until 27 October. Exercises are attended by Latvian Navy, Air Forces, State Border Guard, and State Fire and Rescue Service.


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