Navy bomb squad to investigate object on beach

An object, which was found on the beach at West Runton. Picture: Jenny Miller

An object, which was found on the beach at West Runton. Picture: Jenny Miller - Credit: Archant

An armed forces bomb squad will visit a north Norfolk beach for the second time this week following the discovery of another mystery object in the sand.

Jerry Woodley, station officer for Sheringham and Cromer Coastguard, said the circular, rusted object was found on the beach at West Runton on Wednesday.

A Royal Navy bomb squad from Portsmouth is due to inspect the object some time on Thursday afternoon.

Mr Woodley said the Coastguard was alerted after seeing a post on social media.

He said: “Two ladies were trying to dig this object out with a spade or a shovel, which is probably not the best idea in the world.”

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The Coastguard found the object and sent photos of it to the navy’s bomb squad - because it was found below the waterline it was their responsibility rather than the army’s Colchester-based squad.

Mr Woodley said: “We put a cordon around the reported object, mainly to keep the general public away.

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“[The bomb squad] decided they will come up and take a look at it.”

He said they may decide to blow up the object if it was considered dangerous.

“Very rarely will they take ordnance away with them,” he said.

“It may be nothing. We’ve evacuated the whole beach to find out something was no more than a piece of a washing machine.”

It follows the discovery of a metal rod-like object at Cart Gap beach, near Happisburgh, on June 21. The Coastguard and the army’s bomb squad from Colchester were unable to determine what the item was, but confirmed it was not an explosive device.

Mr Woodley said in years gone by unexploded ordnance was regularly found on north Norfolk’s beaches, and it still happened from time to time.

He said last week a suspected anti-tank mine was found on Kelling Beach, but it washed away with the tide.

Mr Woodley said: “Our advice to the public is that if you see something on the beach that you’re not sure of, call 999. We’re happy to take a look and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Two years ago we had a [Second World War] hand grenade on Sheringham beach, and that was live.”

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