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Romanian Minesweeper hits Sea Mine in the Black Sea

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ROMANIA : The Musca-class minesweeper of the Romanian Navy, Lieutenant Dimitrie Nicolescu (pennant number:29), was damaged by a floating mine on 08 September 2022 in the Black Sea, northeast of the port of Constantza.

The threat of sea mines once again showed its cold face in the Black Sea on 08 September. The Romanian minesweeper was damaged at the stern and lost its maneuverability due to the explosion. The Romanian Navy stated that the entire crew is safe and no one was injured. This incident was the ninth sea mine detection since the beginning of the Russia-Ukrainian war.

According to the Romanian Navy, Lieutenant Dimitrie Nicolescu left the port of Constanța at about 1:15 p.m. on Thursday, September 8, to neutralize a mine that had been detected and reported by another vessel named Falcon, which was conducting certain activities at a distance of about 25 nautical miles (46 km) in the direction of NE from the entrance to the port of Constanța.

The mine was reported by the Falcon at about 11:45 a.m., and Lieutenant Dimitrie Nicolescu deployed to sea one hour and thirty minutes after the detection.

The reports suggest that after the Romanian minesweeper arrived at the position of the mine, sea conditions deteriorated, making it unable to conduct the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) operation and deploy the RHIB. After dark, and with the weather continuing to be rough, the ship was struck by the floating mine. The detonation left a small hole in the stern of the ship, near the waterline.

The Romanian Navy shared on its Facebook account that the crew responded immediately after the explosion and prevented the water from entering by plugging the hole, which was just above the waterline.

The minesweeper Lieutenant Dimitrie Nicolescu returned to her homeport Constanta with the help of the naval tugs Grozavul and Viteazu. There were no casualties or injuries, and the entire 75-member crew arrived safely at the port of Constanta on 09 September. The Romanian Navy said there was no major damage on board and the ship will be repaired and serviced soon.

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