May 25 2013 Latest news:
By Chris Bishop
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Children on a school field trip ran for cover when they found a suspected Second World War mine on a Norfolk beach.
Twenty-five pupils aged from eight to 11 from St Peter and St Paul School, from Carbrooke, near Thetford, had been enjoying at week of activities at the National Trust’s Brancaster Millennium Activity Centre (BMAC), near Hunstanton.
But when 11 of them they took to the beach to carry out a litter pick, as part of a young ranger course, they found a rusting round object slightly larger than a football washed up on the shoreline.
“We had just started our litter pick and had only just told the children what to do if we found anything dangerous and told them to call an adult over for any strange objects,” said Rob Jones, a learning officer at the BMAC.
“Almost straight away we came upon a large round rusty ball. As we approached my initial thought was it was a rusty mooring buoy. When I saw rusty fittings sticking-out it suddenly looked very much like a mine.
“It looked like it had been at the bottom of the sea for quite a long time. I told the group that it looked like a sea mine and we had to move quickly away.
“The children weren’t scared at all. They thought it was brilliant, they thought it was the best thing ever finding something that was potentially a bomb on the beach.”
“They kept asking when the police were going to come and blow it up. They took great delight in shouting ‘it’s a bomb’ as we cleared the area and warned approaching walkers.”
Mr Jones, who has worked at BMAC for six years, added: “We’ve found all sorts of things before, but it’s the first time we’ve found something that could be explosive with kids present.”
National Trust warden Keith Miller called the coastguard, who cordoned off the area and photographed the suspect object to send pictures off to be indentified.
From the coastguards’ photos the object remained a mystery to the bomb disposal experts and the following morning the military bomb disposal team arrived to investigate the find.
After further study, they found it to be a compressed air container for powering a World War Two torpedo. The Disposal team described it as similar to a giant hollow rubber ball rather than a bomb.
Unexploded munitions of all kinds are regularly found along the beaches at Brancaster, Titchwell and Holme. There were firing ranges onshore, while areas of the Wash and North Sea nearby were used for target practise by both aircraft and land-based gunners. Mines were also dropped by German aircraft at the approaches to the estuary.
Anyone who finds anything suspicious on the beach is advised to call the coastguard, on 999.
Terrorism returned to the streets of London today as two suspected Muslim fanatics butchered a man in broad daylight in the name of “Allah”.
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