The trawler Thorvaldur Lárusson from Grundarfjördur caught an active German magnetic mine in its fishing gear by Látrabjarg, Europe’s largest bird cliff, located in the West Fjords, last weekend. The mine has been underwater for 60 years.
“The boys took it easy and made sure the mine was safe. But after bringing it ashore safely I couldn’t help but think that not much had to go wrong for that thing to explode,” captain Sigurdur Ó. Thorvardarson told Fréttabladid.
The magnetic mine, which originates from World War II, carries 350 kilos of active explosives, which equals one ton of dynamite. It could easily have sunk the ship. Every now and then, Icelandic trawlers catch such mines.
After contacting Sailing Watch, an emergency service for ships, Thorvardarson sailed immediately to the harbor in Rif after the mine had been safely placed aboard his ship.
Bomb specialists from the Icelandic Coast Guard then took the mine and demolished it in an isolated area.