Two More Drifting Mines Found and Neutralized in the Black Sea

Image courtesy Romanian Ministry of Defense

Published Mar 28, 2022 10:26 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Monday, Turkish and Romanian responders worked to neutralize more Soviet-era sea mines that were found drifting in the Black Sea. 

The Romanian Navy minesweeper Vice Admiral Constantin Balescu responded Monday to a floating naval mine that was spotted about 40 nm off Capu Midia, a Romanian military base located near Constanta. A dive team used an inflatable launch to get close, and they destroyed the mine using an explosive charge. 

In the Turkish waters of the Black Sea, another mine was found off Igneada, a seaside town roughly 150 nm to the south of the Romanian Navy's discovery. A Turkish Navy SAS team responded to the site and neutralized the mine. 

The drifting mines found on Monday were the second and third in three days. On Saturday, Turkish forces found and neutralized another "old type" mine near the busy entrance to the Bosporus. 

Neither Turkey nor Romania announced the source of the drifting mines, but Russian state media had previously issued a message claiming that Ukrainian sea mines had gone adrift in the Black Sea. A Russian NAVTEX message broadcast last week asserted that there were more than 400 moored mines installed near Odesa, Ochakov, Chernomorsk and Yuzhnyy. Ukraine has denied responsibility, and competing claims suggest that the mines were planted by Russia to disrupt sea lanes to and from Ukraine.

In an advisory to shipping, EOS Risk Group said that it strongly advises vessels to employ the use of mine lookouts while transiting the Black Sea.