WATCH: Navy safely detonates decades-old mine found floating in Port Orchard Bay

    Navy explodes mine (Photo: Julie Zalikowski)

    BROWNSVILLE, Wash. - A decades-old mine discovered floating in the waters of Port Orchard Bay Tuesday afternoon, has been safely detonated, according to the U.S. Navy.

    The Navy said there was no secondary explosion, so they believe the device was inert.

    “We didn't know if they were going to blow it up or not but when we heard a boom and the house shook we thought, ‘Oh man, did the thing go off on them,’" said Samuel Sherman of Poulsbo, who was relieved to learn that no one was hurt.

    The old ordnance was found by a state Department of Natural Resources crew about 1,200 yards east of the Brownsville Marina, Coast Guard officials said.


    Marine units from several nearby police agencies, the Coast Guard and the Navy responded to the scene and quickly set up a 1,500-yard safety perimeter around mine.

    "Upon initial inspection, the unidentified moored mine was found to have decades of marine growth," Navy officials said in a press release. "The Navy is assessing plans for disposal with our response partners in the best interest of public safety."

    Eventually, two brave divers went into the water and attached a tow line to the ordnance and video from Air 4 showed the mine being towed away. Coast Guard officials said the Navy was aiming to tow the mine to Keyport.

    The Navy later decided the safest way to dispose of the mine was to detonate it. They said they could not safely tow it to shore because it was unknown at the time if the mine was inert.

    The mine was safely detonated around 8 p.m. and the Navy said there is no danger to the public.

    Kitsap County Sheriff's officials initally gave shelter-in-place orders to those who live along the shoreline on both sides of Port Orchard Bay from Brownsville Marina north to Keyport and the Agate Pass Bridge. Those orders were lifted about two hours later.

    Approximate location of floating mine (Google Earth Map)

    There was no word yet where the mine came from, how it ended up in the water or how it got loose.

    “Where do you get a World War II mine floating out here, of all place,” said Steve Tillery, who keeps a boat in the Brownsville Marina. “Where'd it come from? That's my question."

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