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'You can't be nervous' The Royal Navy divers hunting unexploded World War II bombs

“你不会紧张的”:皇家海军潜水员在搜寻未爆炸的二战炸弹



PHOTO: Navy diver Andrew Waller inspects a mock bomb during a training exercise in Portsmouth. (ABC News: Lincoln Rothall)

图片:海军潜水员安德鲁·沃勒在朴茨茅斯的一次训练中检查了一枚模拟炸弹。(ABC新闻:林肯·罗瑟尔)

As he swam down through the pitch black, cold water in February, Alessandro "Alex" Bonato came into contact with the biggest bomb he had ever dealt with.

二月份,当亚历山德罗“亚历克斯”·博纳托潜入到漆黑冰冷的水中,他触摸到了他所处理过的最大的炸弹。

The "nicely preserved" 500-kilogram device had been dropped more than seven decades ago by a German bomber over London's East End.

这个“保存完好”的500公斤重的装置,是70多年前一架德国轰炸机在伦敦东端投下的。

It missed its target, failed to explode and embedded itself in the silt at the bottom of the George V Dock.

它没有击中目标,没有爆炸,而是嵌入了乔治五世码头底部的淤泥中。

The Royal Navy diver carefully measured the bomb with his outstretched arms, "hoping the fuse had seized up" after more than 73 years in the water.

这位皇家海军潜水员小心翼翼地用张开的双臂测量炸弹,在水中呆了超过73年了,“希望引信已经失灵了”。



PHOTO: The Southern Diving Group had to deal with an unexploded World War II bomb found in the River Thames near London City Airport in February. (ABC News: Lincoln Rothall)

照片: 2月份,南部潜水小组不得不处理在伦敦机场附近的泰晤士河中发现的一枚未爆炸的二战炸弹。(ABC新闻:林肯·罗瑟尔)

"The high explosives are definitely volatile after that period of time," Mr Bonato said.

“在经历了那一段时间之后,烈性炸药肯定会挥发”,博纳托先生说。

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"At the time, you can't be nervous really," Mr Waller said, reflecting on the day.

“在那个时候,你不会真的紧张”,沃勒先生在回想这一天时说。

"If it was to go wrong I wouldn't know a blind thing about it and there wouldn't be enough left of me to fill a teacup."

“如果出了问题,我不会对此一无所知,也不会有足够的时间来倒满茶杯。”



PHOTO: "You can't be nervous," says able seaman Andrew Waller (right). (ABC News: Lincoln Rothall)

照片:“你不会紧张的”,干练的海员安德鲁·沃勒(右)说。(ABC新闻:林肯·罗瑟尔)

The divers eventually got straps on the bomb and floated it up out of the silt, before towing it down the River Thames and safely destroying it at sea.

潜水员最终在炸弹上绑上带子,使它从淤泥中浮出来,然后将它拖下泰晤士河,在海上安全地引爆了它。

The impressive explosion, which sent a plume of water high into the air, provided a brief chance for reflection.

令人印象深刻的爆炸将一股水柱喷向空中,只给反思留下了短暂的时机。

"You can see the power of the bomb, you can feel it through the boat, you think maybe for a split second, 'oh, imagine if'," Mr Bonato said.

博纳托先生说:“你可以见识到炸弹的威力,你在船上就可以感受到,你想也许就一瞬间,‘哦,想象一下’”。

"But it hasn't [gone wrong] to this day and I can't imagine with our technique that it would."

“但至今没有(出错),我无法想象我们的技术会出错。”

Bomb squad has enough work to last a lifetime

炸弹小队有足够的事情做来维持一生

It's only the really big bombs or those that cause enormous disruption that make the news, but the Southern Diving Group, which Mr Bonato and Mr Waller belong to, is called out every 18 hours on average to towns and cities right across the bottom half of Britain.

只有真正的大炸弹或那些造成巨大破坏的炸弹才是新闻的焦点,但是博纳托先生和沃勒先生所属的南部潜水小组平均每18小时被召集到英国下半部的小镇和城市中去完成任务。



PHOTO: A German World War II GC mine is detonated after being found in 25 metres of water in the Solent. (Supplied: Ministry of Defence)

照片:一枚德国二战GC水雷在索伦特25米深的水中发现后被引爆。(供图:国防部)

Last year they dealt with 291 separate incidents involving Word War I and World War II unexploded ordinance, and estimates vary about how many bombs are still to be found.

去年,他们分别处理了291起涉及第一次世界大战和第二次世界大战未爆弹药的事件,估计还不知道有多少炸弹有待发现。

Private contractors, the emergency services and other military units also regularly come across the old devices too.

私人承包商、紧急服务机构和其他军事单位也经常碰到这种老旧装置。

Tens of thousands of tonnes of explosives were dropped on Britain by the Nazis and the country's Ministry of Defence says 10 per cent did not detonate.

英国国防部称,纳粹向英国投掷了数万吨炸药,其中有10 %是没有引爆的。

But there is thought to be plenty more unexploded devices than that out in the sea.

但是人们认为,海里的未爆炸的装置比不在海里的要多得多。

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"Our relationship today is extremely good," he said.

“我们现在的关系非常好”,他说。

A unique family history

独特的家族史

As in all close-knit teams, there's banter among members of the Southern Diving Group.

就像所有关系密切的团队一样,南部潜水小组成员之间也经常开玩笑。

Mr Bonato cops a bit of gentle ribbing, thanks largely to his family history — his grandfather flew planes for the Luftwaffe, though Mr Bonato says they were only supply, not bombing, missions.

博纳托先生常受一点温和的责怪的嘲笑,这主要归咎于他的家族史——他的祖父为德国空军驾驶飞机,尽管博纳托先生说这些飞机只是供给任务,而不是轰炸任务。

The long-running joke is that he is picking up some of his relative's work.

长期用以自嘲的笑话是,他正在收拾他亲戚的一些烂摊子。



PHOTO: The London City Airport bomb was the biggest able seaman Alessandro Bonato had experienced in his Navy career. (Twitter: UK Ministry of Defence)

照片:伦敦机场的那枚炸弹是亚历山德罗·博纳托这位干练的海军生涯中处理过的最大的一枚。(推特:英国国防部)


"The airport bomb is the biggest I've dealt with … but it was big enough," Mr Bonato exclaims.

“那枚机场炸弹是我处理过的最大的……但它已经够大了”,博纳托先生感叹道。

"I like this work … but I'm not craving much bigger ones to be honest."

“我喜欢这份工作……但老实说,我可不想再来个更大的。"