An angler in the United Kingdom had a close call after he dug up a live artillery shell while fishing near Brean Beach last week.
When Barish Odemis got his lines tangled up in some rocks near the beach, his first thought was to dig them up to free them. After some investigation, Odemis discovered that what he had been putting his hands all over was actually a live artillery shell, or what bomb disposal experts call unexploded ordnance.
Old and corroded artillery shells can still be found all over the United Kingdom and are considered very dangerous, especially as some may contain toxic or chemical agents. These devices are often destroyed through a controlled detonation when discovered.
“I quickly realized that it looked like an old wartime artillery shell so I took it up the beach to a safe place, away from other people, before I called the police and coastguard,” Odemis told Burnham-on-sea.com.
There, the angler took several pictures of the shell and sent them to the proper authorities. Before long, soldiers from the Royal Logistics Corps Bomb Disposal team arrived at the scene and detonated the shell remotely.
You can see the detonation in the video below:
Experts say that thousands of unexploded artillery shells, bombs, and mines remain in Western Europe today as the legacy of two World Wars. In addition to bombs from the Second World War, experts consider the mustard gas-filled shells of the First World War to be the most dangerous. These are a threat not only because of their explosive capability, but because years of corrosion may have exposed the dangerous chemicals inside.
The discovery of bombs and old artillery shells by anglers is nothing new. Fishermen often uncover underwater mines or other dangerous explosives, which are then destroyed by officials. Perhaps the strangest case was when a commercial fisherman in China caught a squid that had swallowed a bomb from a fighter jet. The explosive was discovered when the squid was being cleaned inside a fish market, where it was later retrieved by officials. Experts recommend leaving the devices where they are and to avoid touching them if possible.