Playing with fire

BEACH walkers at Felixstowe were today warned not to pick up the increasing number of highly-dangerous war-time ammunitions being revealed by coastal erosion.

BEACH walkers at Felixstowe were today warned not to pick up the increasing number of highly-dangerous war-time ammunitions being revealed by coastal erosion.

Coastguards said erosion was likely to reveal more old ordnance and urged people to be very careful and not to touch or pick up items, which could still be live even though 60 years old.

These bullets were found on the beach by a couple. The man picked some up and threw them back into the sea, but took others home before contacting the authorities.

They are now in the safe custody of the police.

Felixstowe sector manager for HM Coastguard, Jo Arlow said: “People may only think these are bullets but they were still live and they could be very dangerous.

“If anyone takes any of these things home to dismantle them or polish them as a souvenir, it could still kill them if it went off - it would only take one to put you down.

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“These items must be disposed off properly. We cannot stress that enough.”

Mr Arlow did not want to reveal the exact location where the old rifle bullets were found because he feared it could attract people with metal detectors to explore the area, putting them in danger.

“The point is that we could get these instances all along the coast here at Felixstowe, especially with the severe erosion which is now taking place,” he said.

“Where large areas of beach are being lost, various ordnance could be revealed.

“We would urge people not to touch and to dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard so that we can identify what is involved and make arrangements for the safe disposal.”

He urged people to do the same for old flares, as well as ammunition which was found.

A number of weapons have been found on Felixstowe beach over the years including live shells, which the army bomb disposal teams have had to detonate after sealing off areas of shore.

The town was home to army, Royal Air Force and Navy in various conflicts and in peacetime.

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