Four Bell Island shipwrecks will have underwater explosive ordnance (UXO) removed next week.
The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces will conduct the removal in the Conception Bay South area between July 15 and July 24. For the operation’s safety, environmental preservation and logistics, the underwater explosive ordnance will be transported to Cambrai Rifle Range in Makinsons for disposal.
After community consultation, Fleet Diving Unit Atlantic, based at Canadian Forces Base Halifax, is conducting the clearance work on behalf of the Department’s Legacy UXO Program.
It will include removal and disposal of the UXO.
For the removal work, the RCMP will provide a one nautical-mile (1.85 kilometre) marine safety exclusion zone around each wreck when military clearance divers are handling UXO.
The underwater removal work will take place each day from early afternoon to early evening. This is the period in which the safety exclusion zone will be implemented and managed to reduce disruption.
There will be no underwater detonation, to preserve the integrity of the environment, marine life and wreck structures.
The number of UXO to be recovered on each wreck will only be known once the clearance divers examine the sites and detail each wreck’s UXO removal plan.
Ferry service will not be affected by this remediation operation.
The RCMP and RNC will provide a transportation safety cordon when the UXO are taken to Makinsons to be disposed of.
A segment of Veterans Memorial Highway near the range will be closed during detonation. The RCMP will close and open the highway prior to and following each detonation to minimize traffic disruption.
Residents nearby can expect to hear up to 10 controlled detonations from the range on the days demolition will occur in this period. The detonations will take place during daylight hours.
For additional safety measures, the public is requested to refrain from accessing public lands that are within a 1,000-metre radius of the range.