Morbihan: Where are the conventional weapons submerged on our coasts?

Didier Robino, diver at Club Vénètes in Vannes. © Morbihan News

Didier Robino and Claude Drio belong to the Club Subaquatique des Vénètes of Vannes in Morbihan. While diving, they came face to face conventional weapons.

A boat full of ammunition off Quiberon

Off the coast of Quiberon, in Brittany, on the navigation maps, one can come across a “no-go” area at a site “Bougale”. Morbihani Didier Robino knows this wreck well. He has been diving nearby since 2002. “This area Diving is forbidden, except for insulting permission, ” Didier Robineau explains.

The “Bougalet” was a landing tank (LCT) – a tank landing ship in French – of the French Navy. Constructed in Great Britain in 1942, it sank on December 8, 1946 without causing any casualties. The army recovered the majority of the ship’s tonnage. There was ammo.

Decontamination of the wreckage of the bougalais.
Decontamination of the wreckage of the bougalais. © Atlantic Maritime Prefecture

The area is forbidden to snorkel to prevent people from searching for explosives. There is more after the passing of the deminers in 2019. There are empty shell covers today. But in 2002, I also saw phosphorous on the wreck,” explains Didier Robineau after diving with approval by order of the Maritime Province of Brest.

Instructions on land and at sea are not to touch suspicious objects, phosphorous pads, empty cases, etc. This is also the very clear purpose of Section 2 of the diving permit.

Didier Robino

The Morbihannais know this wreck well. He has been diving nearby since 2002.

Shells at Ria d’Etel and Groix

The seashells Very common in Morbihan. especially in Lorient port pounded through World War II. There may still be conventional weapons in the port of Lorient. It didn’t all explode,” confirms Didier Rubino.

Didier Robino and Claude Drio, divers at Club Vénètes in Vannes.
Didier Robino and Claude Drio, divers at Club Vénètes in Vannes. © Morbihan News

Not far from here, at Groix and at the Ria d’Etel, Claude Dréau saw shells with his own eyes:

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Traditional weapons in Morbihan waters, they are very common. On the Groix side, many shells were flooded. Two or three years ago, divers found a 250-kg shell in the Itil River.

The deminers passed through the Eitel River, not the Groix River (the location is difficult to determine). The discoverers received compensation of about fifty euros for the transfer of the site to state services.

Submachine ammunition in the Gulf of Morbihan

The Gulf of Morbihan is home to some traditional weapons. “In Arradon sow, we still find momachine gun ports in the mud (about 6 meters at low tide), ”says Claude Drio, who recently dived here.

On the maps, as here in the Gulf of Morbihan, diving is sometimes prohibited.
On the maps, as here in the Gulf of Morbihan, diving is sometimes prohibited. © Morbihan News

The sea floor of Morbihan is rich in biodiversity and heritage, but in some places men have caused unwanted things to “disappear” there: this can sometimes bring unpleasant surprises.

Instructions to follow in case of discoveries: https://www.premar-atlantique.gouv.fr/page/decouverte-d-engins-explosives-en-mer-ou-sur-le-rivage

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