Romanian Navy Musca class minesweeper hits by Ukrainian mine

According to information published by the Romanian Navy on September 8, 2022, the Musca class minesweeper Locotenent Dimitrie Nicolescu (DM-29) arrived on Thursday 8 September at around 17.45 in the area where the sea mine reported by the GSP ship "Falcon" was drifting.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Romanian Navy Musa class minesweeper during an exercise with the US (Picture source: U.S. DoD)

In accordance with the operational procedures for such interventions, a team of EOD divers was embarked on board the vessel, with a specialized boat to search and collect information about the object posing a danger to navigation, with the aim of neutralizing it.

Hydrometeorological conditions in the maritime district where the war mine was located worsened after the arrival of the sea dredger in the district due to the increase in wind speed (10-12 m/s), the sea being of degree 4 (wave height 1.5-2 m). This situation did not allow to leave the EOD craft in the water and execute the mission.

Although safety precautions were taken after dark, due to the adverse weather conditions, the military vessel was struck by the sea mine, which was carried adrift by the storm. The explosion produced a small water hole, located at the limit of the ship's waterline, in the stern area (aft part of the ship).

There were no casualties or injuries as a result of the explosion, the ship's crew of 75 were not at risk, the ship's buoyancy was not affected and there was no major damage on board.

Immediately after the mine explosion, the ship's crew acted to plug the water hole and limit the effects of seawater entering the aft compartment. By order of the Chief of Naval Staff, the diving ship "Grozavul" left the port of Constanta to assist and tow the damaged dredger to the port of Constanta.

It should be recalled that the Musca class minesweeper "Locotenent Dimitrie Nicolescu" (DM-29) left the port of Constanta on Thursday, 8 September, at around 13.15, to carry out an intervention mission on a war mine, which was adrift at a distance of approximately 25 nautical miles (46 km), in a NE direction from the entrance to the port of Constanta.

After the outbreak of armed aggression by the Russian Federation in Ukraine, this is the third war mine to arrive in the area of responsibility of the Romanian Naval Forces.

Since the beginning of the war, 28 sea mines have been destroyed in the western Black Sea so far, including three by Turkey, two by Romania, one by Bulgaria, and 22 by Ukraine.