Mystery Object Found In Sea Near British Submarine Base

Mystery Object Found In Sea Near British Submarine Base

An unusual object has been found by a fishing boat near the approaches to the Royal Navy's submarine bases on the Clyde, Scotland. At first glance the device appears to be some sort of mine.

The object does not appear to have been in the water very long as there is no marine growth.

Although it is cylindrical, which is typical of things designed to fit within torpedo tubes, it is small in diameter. And it has fixings protruding along the top. So it does not appear to be torpedo tube launched. Instead it appears air-dropped.

Mystery Object Found In Sea Near British Submarine Base

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Being cylindrical suggests that it is pressure resistant, and there are several sensor windows at one end (the front?) with circular seals.

A large brass ring is directly above the center of gravity. Two smaller loops are forward and aft. This may indicate suspension beneath a helicopter or, possibly, a UAV (uncrewed air vehicle, aka drone). Alternatively, it may simply be to help lifting it into / out of the water and aid recovery.

The object is brightly-coloured, which is typical of items that the owners expect to retrieve. There are also flush carry handles for people to manhandle it. But the markings do not indicate the owner.

The visible text says "Serial no. 088", and there is a small CoG (center of gravity) label in the center. At least this suggests that it originates from an English-speaking country. The black-white branding is consistent with an inert warhead, for training purposes. But inert mines are often painted blue.

Mystery Object Found In Sea Near British Submarine Base
Reference photo of an inert Mk.14 aerial mine used for training. Royal Navy photo.

The object is, overall, similar to the vintage World War Two 'Mine A Mk.14' aerial mine. It is much more modern however and is not an exact match.

UPDATE: The device as been identified as a VEMS (versatile exercise mine system).

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