An explosive start to Christmas in Portsmouth PLUS, UXO is uncovered across the country in the first week of 2021


UXO was found on Christmas day and so far January isn't a quiet month in the world of UXO...

An explosive start to Christmas in Portsmouth
PLUS, UXO is uncovered across the country in the first week of 2021

Residents of Portsmouth who decided to enjoy a festive, beach walk on Christmas Day had an unusual start to their festivities when they discovered a piece of unexploded ordnance (UXO).

The suspicious item was called in and the police were notified by 8:50am. 

A team went to the beach to assess the situation, cordon off the area, and call in the army’s explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) experts.

The EOD team arrived on site and confirmed that the item was a piece of wartime UXO.  It was determined that a controlled explosion would be needed in order to safely dispose of the device.

By 11:40am, less than three hours after the police had been called, the EOD professionals orchestrated the controlled detonation of the device, rendering the beach safe for those who wanted some sea air to help them digest their Christmas dinners!

Many thanks to the EOD professionals - they certainly enjoyed an explosive festive celebration!

UXO finds so far in 2021

Even without a global pandemic, January is a quiet month – except in the UXO world!

Road closures in Manchester

On Friday the 8th of January the bomb squad was called to Mottram Road, Hyde, Tameside in Manchester.  An unidentified, suspicious item had been found and the experts were called in to work out how to ensure the area was safe.

The EOD experts confirmed no controlled detonation was needed in this instance, and the road was promptly reopened, enabling civilians to continue as normal.

Risky fishing in Reading

Those who enjoy the tranquil pastime of fishing probably don’t expect to reel in an explosive catch.

But on the River Thames near Lynmouth Road in Reading on Saturday 9th January, instead of catching a fish, David Cimmino had a grenade on his hook.

Although David has found a variety of strange objects in the past - such as shopping trolleys, handguns, and even a sword - this discovery was quite the shock! 

He gently placed the device back beneath the surface of the water and called the authorities.

The pathway was cordoned off and the community was urged to avoid the area.

The EOD team arrived to assess the situation.  It was determined that a controlled explosion would be required.  The experts got to work to ensure the safety of the local community and the fishing enthusiasts. 

All night ordnance guarding in Cornwall

On Monday, 11th January police had to pull an all-nighter to guard an unexploded mortar bomb.

The device had been discovered on Hayle beach in Cornwall in the late afternoon.  EOD experts confirmed that it was indeed WWII ordnance, but it was determined that with the dwindling light conditions, it would be best to return at sunrise to deal with it. 

This meant police officers were required to guard the mortar bomb throughout the night.

Preparations were made to detonate the device on Tuesday morning, enabling walkers to enjoy a beachside stroll safely, and police officers to catch up on some well-deserved sleep.

Historical context - where does all this ordnance come from?

When people think of the Blitz in WWII, London is typically the first - and sometimes the only - place people think of.

Although London experienced severe destruction and UXO continues to be a challenge for the city's development today, it certainly wasn’t the only city in the UK that was targeted. 

With regard to the most recent finds in Portsmouth, Reading and Cornwall, UXO in the marine environment is particularly challenging to deal with due to the movement of water.  When bombs were dropped, some ended up in rivers and on the seabed, but also at the end of the war a significant portion of ordnance was just discarded into waterways.

With regards to the suspicious item in Manchester, the city was a key industrial and inland port and therefore a key target for Luftwaffe bombers. 

SafeLane Global is proud to have a team of dedicated, in-house researchers who are experts in how explosive ordnance hinders industrial development today.  They support clients working on land and in the marine environment by supplying bespoke risk assessments.

Will UXO impact your upcoming project? Contact the team today for a detailed threat assessment.

Published by SafeLane Global on