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15 October 2015, 07:07
An unexploded sea mine will be removed and deactivated, prompting the evacuation of a number of properties.
Explosives experts confirmed the location of the device off the coast of Gourock, Inverclyde, near a swimming pool, on Monday.
The unexploded ordnance device is thought to be a sea mine dating from either the 1940s or 1950s.
It is to be deactivated on Thursday, meaning a number of residents living within 200 metres will need to be moved out and a respite centre will be available at Clydeview Academy.
Police have issued safety advice to residents who live within 500 metres and an exclusion zone at sea of around 1,000 metres will also be set up.
Chief Inspector Elliot Brown said: "I must stress that this evacuation is a precautionary measure, and that there is no immediate danger posed to the community of Gourock.
"I understand the disruption that this might cause some local residents however, we are working with our partners to ensure that this disruption is kept to the absolute minimum.
"Safety is our priority above all else, and this is why the decision to evacuate some residents has been taken.''
Lieutenant Commander Tim Castrinoyannakis, officer in charge of the Royal Navy's Northern Diving Unit, said: "Due to the deterioration of the mine it is not possible to conclude how much explosive material it still contains, therefore for the safety of the public we have decided to move it to a safer place and destroy it in situ.
"We have been working closely with the local authorities throughout and would like to thank the community for their patience.''
The residents who will require to evacuate are located on Kempock Street (from Sainsbury's end), some properties within Albert Road, and one property on Bath Street, and other areas up to approximately 50 metres beyond the war memorial.
The other residents who are allowed to stay in their properties, and who will be issued safety advice are in the following streets:
Kempock Place, some properties on Albert Road, Barrhill Road, Binnie Street, remainder of Bath Street, St John’s Road, Adelaide Street, Broombury Drive, John Street, Royal Street, Station Road, and Burgh Walk.
Residents within these properties are asked for safety reasons from 11.30am until 2pm to:
· Open all windows in their property
· Stay away from glass items such as windows
· Stay indoors near to brick walls
· Do not go out into your car
· Do not go into your garden.
The evacuation is due to begin at 8am, and the safe removal of the device is expected to begin around 12noon.
The public will be kept informed of any changes to this schedule via social media and on Inverclyde Council and Police Scotland websites.