Montgomery explosion could be even worse than Beirut

While we’ve all been horrified by the massive explosion that devastated Beirut, Tim Bell from Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club says that we have an even bigger disaster waiting to happen right on our doorstep.

On the wreck of the Richard Montgomery, just off Sheerness, there remain 3632 tons of ordnance, the equivalent of about 1400 tons of TNT. The 2750 tons of ammonium nitrate responsible for the Beirut explosion was as effective as about 1000 tons of TNT. This means that the wreck has considerably more explosive power than the dreadful explosion in Lebanon. It is also thought not all of the 2750 tons actually exploded.

Tim predicts that if one of the bombs from the Montgomery were to end up in the Medway Approach Channel, just yards away, where LNG tankers pass by with little water under their keels, the result could be horrific. He has proposed that the wreck should have a fog horn or a virtual AIS aid to navigation.

One thought on “Montgomery explosion could be even worse than Beirut


    As this is the most dangerous wreck in the UK every possible step should be taken to eliminate navigational errors, and mechanical faults, especially if the Mast are to be removed.

    It would be nice to know what others think about preventing a collision and the steps that should be taken by the port authorities, MCA and DfT.

    I have suggested that FOG HOOTERS should be installed like they use to have there.

    Two I have suggested that they should consider having a sympathetic AIS a virtual system an aid to navigation (ATON) transmitted from Garrision Point, working in conjunction with Radar!

    Three, the Ports should insist more minimum depth under the keel for larger vessel in the Medway Appoach Channel.

    What do you think and what other steps could be taken to help?

    While I understand it may be impossible to make it FOOL PROOF …..because fools can be so INGENIOUS !!!

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