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Friends find 'live grenade' in the River Wensum

PUBLISHED: 16:36 08 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:36 09 April 2019

The friends were magnet fishing in the River Wensum. Photo: The friends were magnet fishing in the River Wensum. Photo: Courtesy of Luke Ireland

The friends were magnet fishing in the River Wensum. Photo: The friends were magnet fishing in the River Wensum. Photo: Courtesy of Luke Ireland

Courtesy of Luke Ireland

Two friends from Norwich made a startling discovery while magnet fishing in the city.

The rifle grenade was pulled out of the River Wensum. Photo: Courtesy of Luke IrelandThe rifle grenade was pulled out of the River Wensum. Photo: Courtesy of Luke Ireland

Luke Ireland and his friend Ashley Peart pulled what they believe to be a live World War One rifle grenade from a stretch of the River Wensum near Grape’s Hill last night (April 8).

The friends had been engaged in their hobby of magnet fishing, which involves searching bodies of water for metal objects with strong magnets, when Mr Ireland felt his line connect with something and hauled it up.

The 32-year-old said that he didn’t realise what he’d got in his hands until he took a closer look.

Mr Ireland said: “We go magnet fishing every now and then to see what we can find.

Luke Ireland was magnet fishing when he made the discovery. Photo: Courtesy of Luke IrelandLuke Ireland was magnet fishing when he made the discovery. Photo: Courtesy of Luke Ireland

“When I pulled something up last night I didn’t think much of it at first, but when I was holding it in my hands I saw that it had a rusty pin in and realised it was a live grenade.

“I panicked and threw it away from me and it hit a metal barrier and went into the bushes.

“My friend didn’t believe me when I said it was a grenade at first but we found it in the bushes again and had another look and we saw that it was.

“If the pin hadn’t been it when it hit the barrier it could have gone off.

Ashley Peart was magnet fishing with his friend when they found the rifle grenade. Photo: Courtesy of Luke IrelandAshley Peart was magnet fishing with his friend when they found the rifle grenade. Photo: Courtesy of Luke Ireland

Mr Ireland said he then telephoned the police to inform them of their find and waited for an officer to arrive.

The pair left after the police arrived and Mr Ireland said he was unsure what had become of his find.

“I would have liked it once it has been deactivated,” he continued. “I did some research online and I think it was a British 1917 Hales rifle grenade and they can go for about £100.”

A spokeswoman for Norfolk Police said: “Police were called at 9pm from someone who believed they had found a World War 1 unexploded grenade near to St Crispins Road.

The rifle grenade was pulled out of the River Wensum. Photo: Courtesy of Luke IrelandThe rifle grenade was pulled out of the River Wensum. Photo: Courtesy of Luke Ireland

“It’s believed it was found in the river and left on the path near the road. EOD attended the scene and confirmed it was a stick grenade and they disposed of it.”

In September 2018 a magnet fisher found an unexploded grenade in the river by Marl Pit Lane in Hellesdon.

In that case bomb disposal experts removed the grenade and carried out a controlled explosion.

The rifle grenade was pulled out of the River Wensum. Photo: Courtesy of Luke IrelandThe rifle grenade was pulled out of the River Wensum. Photo: Courtesy of Luke Ireland

The rifle grenade was pulled out of the River Wensum. Photo: Courtesy of Luke IrelandThe rifle grenade was pulled out of the River Wensum. Photo: Courtesy of Luke Ireland

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