A live Second World War torpedo, found at Scapa Flow, was blown up yesterday by a Royal Navy explosives disposal team.
The British Mark VIII torpedo was spotted by Orkney company Sula Diving during a Scapa Flow underwater salvage sites survey which they were carrying out with Orca Marine for Historic Environment Scotland.
The project was to determine how much remains of the many vessels of the German high seas fleet which were salvaged in the years that followed their scuttling in June 1919, and officials carried out a side scan sonar survey of the main anchorages.
The sonar picked up the torpedo, which was 100ft deep, heavily rusted and in bits, but the presence of white material indicated it was still live.
The Mark VIII torpedo entered service in 1927. It was more than 21 feet long, weighed 3.452lb and had a range of 5,000 yards travelling at 40 knots.
By the Second World War, the torpedo had developed to a range of 7,000 yards and could travel at 41 knots, carrying an explosive charge of 805lb.
Royal Navy top brass were at Scapa Flow last Friday for the 100th anniversary commemorations of the scuttling of fifty vessels from the German fleet in Gutter Sound.
They were informed of the discovery as the commemorations were reaching an end and took the decision to sanction Shetland coastguard to impose an exclusion zone around the site, between Cava Island and Hoy.
The coastguard continued to monitor the site while a Royal Navy explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team was mobilised from Faslane.
The five-man team of Royal Navy divers arrived in Orkney on Sunday afternoon and headed for Stromness.
Deploying a rigid inflatable boat, they headed some two miles out to the scene and methodically dealt with the situation.
A Royal Navy spokeswoman later confirmed that the team had carried out a controlled explosion and the exclusion zone had been lifted.