A diver who reported a suspicious object underwater near Banks Island has embarked on a mission with the navy to find the missing bomb that disappeared in 1950.
Sean Smyrichinsky didn’t have a GPS with him when he spotted the peculiar object that he described to be larger than a king-sized bed with basketball-sized holes in its round shape.
“I couldn’t figure out how it could have gotten there,” he said.
He was diving for sea cucumbers in early October, and a couple weeks later when they were finished fishing, and he had access to the Internet, he Googled the Mark IV bomb that went missing and saw a striking similarity with the strange object he’d seen.
Then he contacted a friend in the military, who put him in touch with the navy in Esquimalt. “They called and interviewed me and a couple days later they called me back and said they were going to send a ship and asked me to join them and show them what I had found.”
Over the weekend, the HMCS Yellowknife came to Prince Rupert to bring Smyrichinsky on board for the mission. The navy is deploying a remote operating vehicle (ROV) to sweep the ocean floor in search for the bomb. There are also two bomb experts onboard with them from the Fleet Diving Unit Pacific.
Lieutenant Navy Greg Menzies, of Maritime Forces Public Affairs, stated it will be a challenge to find the exact location of the object. Smyrichinsky will be the eyes and ears of their mission to guide them to the exact vicinity of the object.
“If they do come across this object then they’ll be able to identify exactly what it is and once the ship comes back to Esquimalt later this month they’ll analyze the footage and determine what they can or should do,” Menzies said.
If the object is found and it imposes an environmental hazard or a risk to the public they’ll recover it. The missing Mark IV bomb, once lost by a U.S. aircraft, has been at the bottom of the ocean for 60 years and weighed up to 10,900 lbs when intact.
“It’s not a nuclear weapon of any sorts, that’s been determined by the U.S. Navy. However, we’re going to go and see if we can identify it and maybe put a tap to this historic story,” Menzies said.