Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Bombs Away!

NAS Patuxent River will conduct a single controlled detonation of suspected unexploded ordnance off the southeast coast of Bloodsworth Island in the Chesapeake Bay between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Wednesday, August 21, 2019. Boaters are advised to keep a distance of 756 feet (252 yards) or more offshore from the southeast portion of the island and avoid all official watercraft during that time.

EOD, Pax River Search and Rescue, and Atlantic Test Ranges personnel will be on scene to ensure the area is safe and secure before conducting any detonations.

There is no threat to the public because of this operation, but the detonation may be heard in communities offshore from Bloodsworth Island.

Bloodsworth Island Range (BIR) has been a Navy range for more than 70 years. Located in the Chesapeake Bay off the shores of Dorchester County, Maryland, the range consists of five islands: Bloodsworth, Pone, Adam, Northeast, and the submerged Great Cove Island. From 1942 to 1995, the Navy used the range as a shore bombardment and bombing range for firing and dropping live ordnance from ships and aircraft. This included bombs, small and large caliber ammunition, rockets, and missiles that contained explosives, propellants, and other energetics. Although the Navy has ceased impact operations at BIR, including the dropping of live and inert ordnance, it is still an active military range owned and managed by Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River. Unexploded ordnance can be found on the range and in near-shore waters. For more information about Bloodsworth Island Range, visit
Bloodsworth Island is a regular stop on Walleye Pete's fishing trips when he's running the Islands. I know the shoreline they're talking about, and have caught numerous Stripers and Speckled Trout along it. The shorelines of Bloodsworth are well marked with signs warning not to step foot on it for fear of unexploded ordinance.

One of his regular customers is a retired Navy pilot who used to drop bombs there.

For a bit of fun, follow Pete as he runs Bootleggers Cut, a deep, well mostly, tidal channel that runs across Bloodsworth Island from roughly south to north:

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