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First time detectorists find old bullet on Felixstowe beach

PUBLISHED: 16:30 21 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:30 21 February 2020

Martin Hawes and his son Elliot on the beach in Felixstowe Picture: MARTIN HAWES

Martin Hawes and his son Elliot on the beach in Felixstowe Picture: MARTIN HAWES

Archant

An Ipswich family who were on their first outing with a metal detector have found a bullet buried in the sand at Felixstowe and immediately alerted police.

The family were excited to find the bullet on the beach Picture: MARTIN HAWESThe family were excited to find the bullet on the beach Picture: MARTIN HAWES

Martin Hawes and his 14-year-old son Elliot were on their first outing with the equipment on Felixstowe beach when they came across the rusting bullet.

"It's the first thing since my son got his metal detector," said Mr Hawes.

"He had practised with it in the garden and then we went to Felixstowe on Thursday.

"It was its first outing. We didn't choose a good day with the weather but we persevered."

The bullet is thought to be reasonably old Picture: MARTIN HAWESThe bullet is thought to be reasonably old Picture: MARTIN HAWES

The family walked slowly across from Martello Beach towards the south beach for around an hour before they came across their find.

"We thought it was a piece of shrapnel but on a closer look we saw that it was a bullet and that there was a small amount of concrete attached to it.

"It was exciting but also concerning as we didn't know if it was live."

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The bullet, around 10-12mm in diameter, was found a few inches beneath the sand.

Unsure what to do with the find the family decided that they would get in touch with the police and happened to come across an officer close to the beach.

After speaking to colleagues, the family were told that they could keep the bullet at their own risk or hand it over to police.

They carefully took a few pictures with the bullet before handing it to police who took it away.

The bullet found by the Hawes family Picture: MARTIN HAWESThe bullet found by the Hawes family Picture: MARTIN HAWES

It's not clear quite how old the bullet is, but the amount of erosion on it suggests that it had been in the sea for a reasonable amount of time when it was spotted by the detectorists.

Despite handing over their find Mr Hawes said that he and his family had been spurred on to keep looking for new finds.

"Elliot is going to research places around Ipswich so we can do some more," said Mr Hawes.

What should you do if you find a bullet?

A spokesman for Suffolk police said: "If you discover something that you think may be potentially dangerous or explosive (a shell, mortar, munitions), you should not touch it and should report it to the police.

"Officers will then contact the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team (EOD) and arrangements will be made in order to dispose of it safely."


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