South Tarawa, Australia Clearance divers from the Royal Australian Navy have safely disposed of a suspect item found beneath a sunken vessel off the coast of the Pacific island nation. It was believed to be a WWII sea mine and was uncovered by commercial operators sent to salvage the vessel.
The divers and a support team flew to the island nation last week upon request for assistance from the Kiribati Government. Though the item could not be positively identified, officials thought it wise to dispose of the object, located at a site of an intense WWII battle where thousands of military personnel were killed or wounded.
Disposal of the possible UXO was part of Operation RENDER SAFE the Australian Defense Force's enduring commitment to the removal of explosive remnants of war which continue to pose a potential danger to communities across the Pacific.