Dredger finds explosives - three times

IT was three times unlucky for a dredger working off Felixstowe at the weekend - as it three times pulled old war-time ammunition from the seabed.

IT was three times unlucky for a dredger working off Felixstowe at the weekend - as it three times pulled old war-time ammunition from the seabed.

Royal Navy bomb disposal experts were called both Saturday and Sunday after crew on the Brabo spotted old military weapons in the material dredged up.

First the crew was working about ten miles from shore when they found suspicious-looking items, later described as “bits of scrap” ordnance, and then dredged up an old shell.

On Sunday the bomb disposal team returned to deal with another shell, going out to the ship off Landguard Point.


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A spokesman for Thames Coastguard said all the items found among the dredged material had not been dangerous.

However, the Navy team had taken them well offshore and detonated them in case they still contained any charge to ensure they were destroyed.

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“The first shell was described by the team as a dead shell and was completely harmless,” said the Coastguard spokesman.

“The second shell was also not dangerous.

“If it had been right through the pipe and then rattled all the way through the ship, if it was going to go off then it would have gone off.”

The dredger is working on a routine maintenance to the berths and approaches to Felixstowe port.

Experts say there is a huge amount of ordinance on the seabed and around the coast, some buried, other pieces churned up by dredging or moved around by the waves.

There is believed to have been a war-time explosives dump site off Harwich, while German bombers would also deliberately shed any bombs not dropped on targets over the sea to make them lighter as they hurried home.

Last year hundreds of people were asked to evacuate their homes after a 1,000lb bomb was found on the main holiday beach - it was later towed out to sea and exploded by the Royal Navy.

Have you found anything interesting on Suffolk's beaches? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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