Underwater Explosives – Live ordinance removal in Bosnia and Croatia

Underwater Explosives

Following the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991, war erupted among several factions including the Republic of Bosnia – Herzegovina, Bosnian Serbs, Croatian and Serbian entities. During the conflict which lasted from 1992 thru nearly the end of 1995 when the Dayton Accords were enacted, a huge amount of shelling took place using mortars and artillery. Much of the shelling was random and arbitrary, resulting in unexploded ordinance in the Sava River which borders Bosnia and Croatia.

So, with that in mind, it’s been over 20 years that much of these unexploded mortar rounds and grenades have lain untouched, hidden from view and still very much alive. Much like top side mine fields, missions are undertaken to retrieve and render this unexploded ordinance to protect the public. This work is definitely not for the faint of heart and probably fair to say it’s not for the average public safety diver! However, ERDI-trained divers were there.

Unexploded Shells

In September of 2012, teams and personnel from Croatian Army and Border Police, Bosnian Army and Border Police, along with Czech Republic Police ERDI divers, launched an initial mission to recover about 150 shells, 120 mm mortars from the Sava River. Normally, unexploded shells would be detonated in place, however this was not possible without putting the public at risk. So, out of the water it comes. Occasionally a mortar would be discovered that was extremely unstable and these would be destroyed in place.

In September of 2013, teams returned to the Sava River for more demining and removal. During this mission, over 3 tons of unexploded artillery shells were removed and then destroyed with well-placed explosives.

ERDI has a long history with our ERD Underwater Explosives Recovery course. To learn more about ERDI programs, visit tdisdi.com

We also extend our thanks to Michal Piskula of our Eastern Europe regional office for the use of his photographs.

Contact SDI TDI and ERDI
If you would like more information, please contact our World Headquarters or your Regional Office.
Tel: 888.778.9073 | 207.729.4201
Email: Worldhq@tdisdi.com
Web: www.tdisdi.com
facebook.com/PublicSafetyDiving


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2 Responses to Underwater Explosives – Live ordinance removal in Bosnia and Croatia

  1. THIS IS HUGE PROJECT, TO THINK of SAFETY, AND ALL THE RISK EACH DIVER FASED AND WILL FACE THE PRESURE WAVE FROM JUST BLASTNG CAP, CAN KILL VERY EASY. THE PEOLPE IN THE PICTURE NOT SAFE MODE, CLEAR THEY NO HAVE ANY E.O.D. TRAMNING. EVEN THEIR BOOTS ARE NOT SAFE TO HANDLE THIS TYPE OF REMOVAL. WERE IS THE BLASH SUITE. TO MANY ROUNDS IN THE SAME AREA IF ONE WOULD GO OFF THE WHOLE PILE WOULD GO OFF. SHOW HOW UNSAFE THEY DO NOT EVEN HAVE THE PROPER HEAD GEAR. WERE AE THE WOODEN SHIPMENT BOX THAT IS USED BY ALL GOVERMENTS AROUND THE WORLD. I SERVED AS SPECIAL FORCE RANGER 48 MISSIONS AND 17 MEDALS. FROM JUST THIS PICURE THESE PEOPLE ARE DANGEROUS TO THEM SELF ANY ONE WHO IS WITHIN ONE MILE, THE SOUND WAVE CAN DESTOY THE HEARING AND TAKE A PERSON OUT OF THE DIVING WORLS FOR LIKE FROM THE SOUND WAVES. GET A REAL EXPERT WITH WEAPONS AND AMNO.

  2. Jason says:

    I worked with EOD in that region of Bosnia back in 2001 and 2002 and I can tell you from experience, that is all the protection ARMY EOD personnel wear on the demo range while setting up their disposal charges. I have volumes of photographs that were taken while in the field and that little pile of ordinance is very very small compared to the ones that reached lengths of 40 feet, long 5 feet wide, and 3 feet high and contained anti tank mines, mortars, rockets and artillery rounds. I find it difficlut to believe a Captain who served with Regiment has such poor grammar and spelling. Your credibility to critique the photo has just been degraded. No disrespect Cpt

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