Bomb detonated off Southwold coast

The detonated bomb sent the marker buoy flying high into the air. Picture: RNLI

The detonated bomb sent the marker buoy flying high into the air. Picture: RNLI - Credit: Archant

Southwold's new lifeboat was called into service for the first time to transport a navy bomb squad to detonate a shell found off the Suffolk coast this evening.

A lifeboat crew member posing with one of the cod killed by the detonation of the bomb.

A lifeboat crew member posing with one of the cod killed by the detonation of the bomb. - Credit: Archant

The 100lb shell was found by a boat pulling up marker buoys at around 1pm this afternoon, two-and-a-half miles from Aldeburgh.

Southwold’s new lifeboat was called into service for the first time to transport a navy bomb squad t

Southwold’s new lifeboat was called into service for the first time to transport a navy bomb squad to detonate a shell found off the Suffolk coast last night. Picture: RNLI - Credit: Archant

A navy bomb disposal squad was dispatched from Portsmouth to deal with the device, and ferried out to it by the lifeboat crew.

The shell was detonated on the sea bed a mile from Southwold at around 7.30pm this evening.

The coastguard was also involved in the incident, delivering a warning to all shipping and enforcing a one-mile exclusion zone around the explosion.


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Crew member Keith Meldrum said the shell was likely to have been left from years of naval testing activity off the coast, though it has been suggested the bomb may have been dropped by a British plane to save fuel on a return flight to the UK during the second world war.

'By the time it got to the surface the explosion wasn't huge, but it killed a couple of cod,' he added.

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The naval bomb unit assesses and detonates on average five such shells a week.

The Annie Tranmer replaced the Leslie Tranmer, which rescued dozens of stranded swimmers in one of its final calls last Sunday.

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