deminers, divers, anti-explosive dogs, an exceptional device deployed to secure the Old Port

deminers, divers, anti-explosive dogs, an exceptional device deployed to secure the Old Port
deminers, divers, anti-explosive dogs, an exceptional device deployed to secure the Old Port

Minesweepers and dog teams deployed on Monday to the Old Port of Marseille. They have two days to secure the Old Port, before the arrival of the flame aboard the Belem on May 8.

An Old Port “waterproof” before the arrival of the Olympic flame in Marseille. Specialized mine clearance brigades checked the boats docked at the quays of the Old Port on Monday May 6, two days before the entry into Belem, coming from Greece. The security system announced by Gérald Darmanin is gaining momentum, as the countdown begins in France’s second city. A thorough search carried out by 70 deminers and 80 anti-explosive dogs, units from all over France, from the gendarmerie, police or customs.

“The obligation is to leave the boat open, to be present if possible and not to start the engine so that there is no accident for the divers”explains Pascal Passaro, president of the UNCD/VBM club.

Boaters are prohibited from going out to sea for three days, except for the thousand of them who will participate in the parade around the three-masted ship, and who will have to be inspected again. Each boater subsequently wishing to board their boat must first undergo an individual search. Exceptional constraints well accepted. “We were very well informed, we were warned, people are friendly, it’s completely normal”estimates a boat owner. “There is when an issue is quite important, and given the context that people come to see if there is no problem, it is completely logical,” adds another boater.

The mine clearance teams leave nothing behind and inspect the smallest container. “Our search dogs first make a passage, if there is detection, we hire a second dog for confirmation and then we call in the deminers to remove any doubts,” explains Major David, head of the Marseille dog brigade. On each inspected boat, an identifier sticker is affixed.

At the same time, divers inspect the depths of the Old Port and the hulls of the boats. Some 3,400 boats will be combed by this evening.

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