Diving team salvage bombs
ATEAM of scuba divers have helped to recover two historic bouncing bombs – like the ones featured in the World War Two film The Dam Busters – from a Scottish Loch.
Around 200 Highballs have been at the bottom of Loch Striven in Argyll for almost 75 years since they were tested by the Royal Navy for use against enemy ships in the Second World War. Six mem- bers of the East Cheshire Sub-Aqua Club were among the team charged with retrieving two of the bombs.
Project leader Mark Paisey, BSAC’s north west regional coach, from Poynton, said: “We’ve exceeded our expectations.
“This is the culmination of a very long collaborative project and it was unbelievable to see the first one come out of the water. It was covered in mud and marine crustaceans but when we cleaned it off it was perfectly preserved, down to the nuts and bolts.
“No-one has seen one of these for the best part of 75 years so it was quite emotional to see it close up.
Mark, 52, was joined by Loz Broome, 58, from Poynton, Henry Paisey, 19, from Bollington, Ken Burrows, 61, from Chelford, Fred Santos, 35, from Macclesfield and Kevin Phillips, 50, from Sandbach, along with other members of the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) and helped by the Royal Navy and other agencies.
The mission involved a series of exploratory dives to identify which Highballs were suitable for recovery, and to secure them for lifting.”
Royal Navy divers then attached specialist lifting equipment to the heavy metal Highballs, which were then winched out of the water.
The bombs, which are inactive, were then packed ready for transport in wet tanks containing a special salt-water solution to prevent them from corroding.
Now the aim is to donate the Highballs to two museums so they can be put on display for the public, in time for the 75th anniversary of the Dambusters raid, in 2018.
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The diving team from East Cheshire and one of the recovered bombs