22 WW2 bombs found in Tuvalu lagoon

Operation Render Safe

Twenty two 500lb WWII-era bombs have been located underwater at Nanumea in Tuvalu, by a naval team from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States.

The Tuvalu government had asked the Australian Defence Force to look for explosive remnants from the war.

With help from HMNZS Manawanui, HMNZS Matataua and crew, plus the U.S Marine Corps and Canadian Navy divers, along with the Australians and New Zealanders, Operation Render Safe got underway at the beginning of this month.

Beginning at Funafuti Lagoon, New Zealand military hydrographers surveyed areas of interest and the combined dive team investigated the sea floor.

When no ordnance were found in the Funafuti area, the ships sailed on to Nanumea, where all of the bombs were located.

The Commander of Australian Defence Force operations in the South West Pacific, Major General Scott Winter, says now they have identified the bombs they can plan and prepare for their safe disposal.