Navy hunts for explosive belt off Silver Strand

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UNION-TRIBUNE BREAKING NEWS TEAM
7:44 a.m. January 18, 2008
SAN DIEGO – A belt-shaped explosive charge is missing in the waters off San Diego after it failed to detonate during a Navy training exercise – and sailors are hoping the tide will find it for them.
According to a statement released by the U.S. Third Fleet, the time-delayed charge disappeared Thursday about 300 yards off the Silver Strand just south of Coronado during an exercise with a Navy explosive ordnance disposal team.

After the device failed to explode, divers waited an hour – as required by Navy safety rules – before returning to the spot where the charge was last seen, the statement said. They couldn't find it.

Divers and sailors in boats searched for the device until nightfall, while other search teams on shore scanned the waters off the Silver Strand through the night. It was still missing Friday morning.

The device was described as a small explosive charge that requires great pressure and an ignition source to detonate.

A Third Fleet spokeswoman said the device was expected to wash ashore at the Navy's Silver Strand Training Facility around noon due to the tides.



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