Video: Croatian Police Detonate Giant WWII Mine at Port of Rijeka

float bags
Croatian police divers used float bags to move the mine to a safe location offshore before detonation (MUP-RH)

Published Mar 19, 2023 5:36 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Sunday, Croatian authorities towed off and detonated a 1,500 pound WWII-era mine at the port of Rijeka, a key seaport on the country's northern coast. 

The mine was partially buried in sediment in Rijeka's inner harbor, a few hundred yards from the historic waterfront, and it went unnoticed until June 2022. The position was too close to populated areas for safe detonation, so city and national authorities decided to plan for a careful operation to remove it and destroy it. They waited for an ideal weather window, and this weekend proved to be perfect. EOD divers with the Croatian national police force rigged it up for towing, and at 0610 hours on Sunday morning, the tow operation began. 

As a safety precaution all road, rail, air and sea traffic in a potential risk area was shut down. This included a closure of the port of Rijeka, shutdown of all nearby businesses, and evacuation of about 500 residents. Road traffic was diverted away from the waterfront, and the nearest railway and bus stations were closed or moved. Parked cars were required to relocate, along with all ships and boats in the harbor area. The Gulf of Rijeka was closed to vessel transits. 

The EOD team towed the mine slowly out of the port to a position about five nm offshore. As a safety precaution, authorities declared a 7,000 meter safety zone around the site. The mine was detonated safely at about 1345 hours, without any mishaps.