37Handling of Unexploded Ordnance

The following information, of concern mainly to fishing vessels, is being published for the benefit of any other vessels which may have occasion to draw nets or trawls:

1Fishers operating off the coasts of Canada are warned that both non-explosive and explosive ordnance may be discovered in normal fishing areas. These ordnance items may be brought to the surface in nets or trawls.

o Non-explosive ordnance such as practice torpedoes will normally be painted bright orange; smaller non-explosive ordnance will normally be a dark blue or light blue. Any item which cannot be readily identified by sight as non-explosive ordnance should be treated as explosive in character. Explosive ordnance, small or large, will normally be painted or marked in yellow, red or green. If there is any doubt about the identity of any object brought up by nets or trawls, it should be considered as an explosive. It should be noted that ordnance having been in the water for longer periods of time will most likely have lost its markings and, like ordnance found on land, will likely have rusted.

2Practice ammunition still dangerous: 

a.Orange torpedoes could still contain Otto Fuel;

b.Dummy ammunition formerly had a dark blue marking; currently, it has a bronze marking;

c.Colour Codes Above 20mm

i.Yellow             High Explosive

ii.Brown             Low Explosive

iii.Grey                Chemical

iv.Black               Armour Defeating

v.Light Green     Smoke

vi.Light Red         Incendiary

vii.Orange             Recoverable

d.When a colour for a primary role does not in itself indicate the presence of an explosive or other hazardous material, the presence of these materials may be indicated by narrow bands or by letters applied in an appropriate colour of the code.

3Explosive ordnance may still be dangerous even after having been in the water for many years. Suspected explosive ordnance should be treated with great care, and if observed in the net or trawl while still outboard, no attempt should be made to bring it alongside or aboard. The trawl should be lowered and where possible, towed clear of regular fishing grounds before cutting away the net as necessary.

4In the event that a suspected explosive ordnance item cannot be released or freed by cutting the net or line, the following actions are advised:

(i)Stream the object as far aft as possible.

(ii)Notify the nearest Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) and stand by for instructions or help.

(iii)Position the crew at the forward end of the vessel, keeping the deck house between them and the object astern.

(iv)Maintain steerageway as necessary to stay in the area until help or instructions arrive.

5In the event of a suspected ordnance item not having been detected until the contents of the trawl have been discharged on deck, the following action should be taken:

(i)Great care should be taken to avoid bumping the object.

(ii)It should be stowed on deck away from heat and vibration.

(iii)It should be firmly chocked up and well secured to prevent movement.

(iv)It should be kept covered up and dampened down. (This is important because any explosive which may have become exposed to the atmosphere is liable to become very sensitive to shock if allowed to dry out).

(v)Notify the nearest Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) and stand by for instructions. The JRCC will then contact the nearest EOD team for direction.

6A ship with a suspected explosive item on board or in her gear, should warn other ships in the vicinity and give them her position.

Note:The accompanying plates showing ordnance used currently and formerly by DND ships and aircraft will assist in identifying explosive ordnance that may be recovered from the sea.

Naval Underwater Charge

Signal Underwater Sound MK411 (Reduced Charge) (SUS)

Signal Underwater Sound MK 410 (High Explosive)

Depth Charge High Explosive DM211


Signal Sound Marine MK NC 1 Mod 1

Naval Decoy

82 mm Rocket Practice MASS Decoy

MK 234 Electronic Decoy Cartridge (Nulka)

Cartridge 5.125 Inch Chaff

Rocket 100mm Radar Echo Practice C20

Naval Pyrotechnics

Signal Smoke Aircraft Orange Drift Indicator C8

Marker Location marine C2A1

Marker Man Over Board (MMOB)

38mm Hand Held Illuminating Signal Flare (Radaflare)

Signal Smoke and Illumination Marine

Mk 66 Mod 2

Signal Smoke Marine MK3 Orange

Mk 66 Mod 2

Marker Man Overboard

Smoke and Light

Length 500 mm

Diameter 190 mm

(including the float)

Signal Illum

Marine Red Pinpoint Mk7

Length 247 mm

Diameter 35 mm

Naval Pyrotechnics

Rocket 100 mm

Radar echo P8

Length 1700 mm

Diameter 102 mm

100 mm Infra red

Decoy P6

Length 1600 mm

Diameter 103.2 mm

Flare Aircraft Parachute


Length 91.4 cm

Diameter 12.4 cm

Signal Underwater

Sound Mk411

Length 38.1 cm

Diameter 7.62 cm

Signal sound Marine

Height 8.89 cm

Diameter 7.62 cm

Signal Illum A-C

Single star 1.5 inch

Length 82.6 mm

Diameter 38 mm

Marker Location Marine

C1A1 or C1A2

Length 47 cm

Diameter 7.56 cm

5.125 inch chaff

Mk 182

Length 1206.5 mm

Diameter 130 mm

Naval Pyrotechnics

Marker Location Marine

Mk 58

Length 21.5 inches

Diameter 4.9 inches

Signal Distress

Day and Night

Length 135 mm

Diameter 42 mm

Marker Man Overboard, Light And Smoke,

Series III

Naval Shells

40 mm

57 mm

76 mm

20 mm

Naval Shells

Mk46 torpedo

Mk48 Torpedo

Cart 57mm Pre-Fragmented
High Explosive

Cartridge 40mm

High Explosive-tracer (HE-T)

Cartridge 57mm Non-Frag Brown Band

Low Explosives

Both are inert

Dummy 40mm Drill 40mm

Cartridges 40mm Practice (BL/P)

Projectile inert but could have live primer and propellant in cartridge case

Other Possible Ordnance

Depth Charge

HE DM211


Length 268 mm

Diameter 60 mm

Practice bomb

2.75 inch rocket motor

2.75 inch warhead

Authority: Department of National Defence (NDHQ)

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