Practicing Underwater UXO Safety

Alternate Formats

Unexploded Explosive Ordnance (UXO) is the term for military explosives that were used but failed to function properly.

Underwater UXO are found in both inland and offshore waters and are the result of former ranges, plane wrecks, shipwrecks, and munitions dumpsites.

UXO may still be dangerous even if they have been in the water for many years. Suspected UXO should be treated with great care. Commercial and sport divers, fishermen and mariners should be aware that there is a chance of encountering UXO while at sea. Fishermen and mariners should refer to the Notice to Mariners for further safety instructions in the event that a UXO would be discovered while fishing.

If you see something that could be UXO, do not touch it! If UXO is disturbed, it could explode and cause serious injury or death. Leave the area and call your local police.


The following are examples of unexploded explosive ordnance (UXO).

UXO in a net

UXO underwater

Large UXO underwater


  • Don’t touch it!
  • Remember the location and leave the area.
  • Call 911.