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Northern Fleet Minesweeping Unit Returned to Homebase

Northern Fleet Minesweeping Unit Returned to Homebase 02.10.2012
Text: Western Military District Press Service
Photo: Western Military District Press Service
Ships of Northern Fleet (NF) minesweeping task unit on Oct 1 returned to permanent basing sites. The unit was dispatched to the Gulf of Ob (Kara Sea) to search, detect, and dispose explosive objects.

NF minesweeping task unit consisting of seagoing minesweeper Vladimir Gumanenko, hydrographic ship Senezh, replenishment oiler Sergei Osipov, and rescue tug Pamir started examination and mine clearance of navigable areas in the Gulf of Ob on Aug 15.

Basic work on searching and finding of explosive objects was performed by NF hydrographic service. Whenever an explosive object was detected, it was examined and destroyed by diving units. In total, through six weeks of deployment, the task unit disposed 12 explosive objects and scanned over 160 square miles.

According to archives, German submarine U-639 planted non-contact magnetic mines early in Aug 1943 in the Kara Sea area mentioned above; presently, those mines can pose a threat to diving works and shipping. With this end in view, the task unit sweeps mines along fairways and recommended routes in the Gulf of Ob.

As of now, the checked areas are safe for ships of all kinds and sizes, as well as for bottom dredging works and anchorage. Minesweeping operations in the Gulf of Ob were extremely complicated because of severe weather, strong wind and current, low visibility and muddy bottom.

Minesweeping works in the Gulf of Ob started in Aug 2011. As a result, about 100 sq miles were opened for navigation in the last year.

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