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New hobbies cause a wave of ordnance finds

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The rise of lockdown hobbies such as beachcombing, walking, gardening, and metal detecting have contributed to a 20% increase in UXO finds

New hobbies cause a wave of ordnance finds

A weekend at the beach for EOD experts ends with a bang!

On Friday evening a cordon was put in place on Old Hunstanton Beach in Norfolk after an item of suspected ordnance was found.  However, as the tide was on its way in, there was no time to identify the item or dispose of it straight away.

On Saturday, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) experts returned at low tide and X-rayed the item - the results were inconclusive however, and the team was unable to confirm the exact identity of the item.

When viewing images of the device, it is evident that time has left it unrecognisable.

So, a decision was made to detonate the device just to be on the safe side.  A controlled explosion occurred at about 5pm on Saturday. 

The Hunstanton and Wells Cley Coastguard Rescue Teams were involved in maintaining a large cordon to ensure community safety during the explosion.

It proved to be a busy beach weekend for EOD experts as they were also called to Great Yarmouth on Saturday to dispose of a similar find on South Beach Parade.

Due to tidal movements, UXO can often be washed up on beaches.  If you encounter any unidentified items remember to not touch them and call in the experts.

Meanwhile, back on dry land...

Lockdown hobbies have caused a 20% year on year increase in UXO finds 

The coronavirus-induced national lockdowns in the UK have resulted in many people finding and developing new hobbies. 

For example, people have reconnected with nature, and long, countryside walks have become a common pastime for many. 

Garden centres are one of the few businesses that have been able to remain open throughout the pandemic, contributing to people spending more time investing in their outside sanctuaries. 

However, all this time in the natural environment has resulted in some people unearthing more than they bargained for!

In 2020 bomb disposal teams were called out more than 2,700 times as a result of people unearthing suspicious objects.  This is approximately 500 more finds than they attended in 2019 - experts say its due to the rise in popularity of walking and gardening.

However, gardening and walking aren’t the only hobbies to be contributing to an increase in UXO finds...

Teen metal detectorist finds landmine in Duxford village

17-year-old Harry Williams took his metal detector out last Friday – and he had quite the find…

Harry uncovered a WWII landmine in a wooded area off Pepperslade, in his home village of Duxford.  This resulted in the arrival of a bomb squad who set up a 250m cordon zone. 

The police asked Harry to confirm what pathway he’d taken already so they knew where it was safe to stand. 

The landmine was Harry’s first find of the day.  Initially he thought he’d uncovered a pipe or some metal foundation… but as he uncovered the device he luckily began to recognise the shape from a book he was reading back home.

The device was confirmed to be a dummy version of a Tellermine 35 - a German anti-tank mine from the Second World War.  It was a training device for British soldiers. 

As the EOD experts were unsure whether the fuse contained explosives, they x-rayed it and determined that the device was safe to handle.

As the area is located close to a popular park, residents were happy that it was just a dummy. 

Please remember, if you encounter any suspicious items during - whether you’re beachcombing or gardening, walking or metal detecting, always call in the experts.

SafeLane Global offers UXO safety awareness training that can be tailored to any audience.

Do you have an upcoming construction project that requires intrusive works?  Ensure you understand your site’s history and mitigate the explosive risk early on with a desktop threat assessment.

 

 

 

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