The latest land and marine UXO finds - from the UK and beyond


This week there have been unexploded ordnance finds on land and in the marine environment - both in the UK and further afield.

It’s been another busy week in the world of unexploded ordnance finds (UXO).  

In the UK, the aftershock of the 1,000kg Exeter bomb detonation is still being felt throughout the local community and it has resulted in an increased awareness of the threat. 

Outside of Exeter, there have been finds on land and in the marine environment - both in the UK and further afield. 

Millom Coastguards issue UXO warning

Cumbria’s Millom Coastguards have taken a proactive step towards protecting their community from UXO.  Strong weather has a tendency to result in a spike of UXO discoveries on beaches, and with the recent tempestuous conditions, Millom have warned walkers that they may encounter UXO.

This proactive approach comes as a result of several ordnance discoveries occurring on beaches in the area.  The latest find was in January.  In a social media post, the coastguard crew urged everyone to ‘expect the unexpected’ due to wet and windy weather. 

The coastguard reminded people not to touch any devices, and to call in any suspicious items, especially if they are rusty.

At SafeLane Global we fully support this awareness raising of the UXO threat by the Millom Coastguard, and their advice to their community.

Bomb squad called to the Isle of Bute, Scotland

On Sunday, police were called to Ettrick Bay on the Isle of Bute following the discovery of unexploded ordnance.

A cordon was put in place as explosive ordnance disposal experts assessed the situation.

The item was believed to be a mine disposal charge, though no further confirmations have been made at this time.

Meanwhile, international waters have also seen beached UXO this week… 

3 large bombs discovered in Cambodia

Demining officers removed and successfully deactivated 3 bombs in Cambodia last week.

The bombs each weighed more than 230kg and were confirmed to be MK82 bombs which had been dropped by American fighter jets during the civil war.

One bomb had been found in Tamouk Lake, in Phnom Penh’s Pnov district.  A second device was buried on a river bank of the Tonle Bit River in Tboung Khmum.  The last device was found on a construction site in Kandal province’s Kean Svay district, it had been buried 5 meters below ground.

According to research by the Cambodia Mine Action Centre, 2.7 million tonnes of bombs (including MK82s) were dropped in the 1970s, and 25 to 30 percent of these did not detonate as planned.

Last year alone Cambodia Mine Action Centre found over a hundred bombs throughout the country.  The level of contamination is further evidenced by the vast quantities of UXO that they have cleared from a sunken warship...

15 tonnes of UXO cleared from sunken warship 

Authorities have cleared 15 tonnes of UXO and discovered 16 skeletons during the excavation of a sunken ship in the Mekong River in Kampong Cham province, Cambodia.

Underwater explosive ordnance disposal experts found AK-47 rifles, machine guns, bullets and human remains.  The search operation has been active since October 2020, and will be completed in May ahead of the rainy season.

The ship sank in the Kegong River during the Cambodian Civil War in the 1970s, possibly carrying up to 50 tonnes of UXO.

Once this operation has been completed, work will commence to clear other sunken warships from the river.

Meanwhile, back on land in the UK…

Homes were evacuated in Perth and Kinross

On Friday 12th of March, police cordoned off an area on Victoria Avenue in Milnathort, Scotland as the result of potential unexploded ordnance find.

Homes within a potential blast radius were evacuated as a precaution; the item was successfully removed ensuring community safety and preventing property damage.

UXO found in a garden in Reading

Last week we talked about how the adoption of covid friendly hobbies had resulted in a spike in UXO finds.  This has been further evidenced this week after UXO was found in a garden in Reading, England. 

The device was found in the garden of a home in Great Knollys Street at 3pm on Monday 8th March.

A controlled explosion was required and this occurred in Prospect Park.

Call the experts

Due to the rise in discoveries of unexploded ordnance, the team at SafeLane wishes to remind people all over the world to approach unidentified devices with extreme caution.

Wherever you are, call in the experts.

For bespoke, CPD accredited UXO awareness training, contact SafeLane.



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