Deadly device discovered on Charmouth Beach handed into centre

Dorset Echo: BANG: The grenade is detonated BANG: The grenade is detonated

A SECOND World war hand grenade found on a West Dorset beach sparked a huge security scare after a member of the public found it and carried it to a nearby tourist attraction.

The incident happened at 12.50pm this afternoon when a member of the public found a hand grenade on Charmouth Beach.

After finding the grenade, the beachgoer picked it up and took it to Charmouth Heritage Centre, which is on the seafront car park.

Staff at the centre immediately phoned police and coastguards who rushed to the scene and cleared the beach which was packed with tourists, before they placed a 300 metre cordon around the area and closed the main road onto the beach and the car park.

The lifeboat from the Lyme Regis RNLI was also required to help clear the sea before bomb disposal experts from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit then arrived at the beach, before destroying the grenade shortly before 5pm.

Graham Turner, station manager from the Lyme Regis Coastguard, said: “It was definitely a hand grenade. It was very, very dangerous.

“They blew it up immediately because they did not want to carry it in the back of their truck because it could have exploded at any point. It was quite a large bang when they blew it up.

“There were hundreds of people down on the beach, we even had to have the lifeboat out to move the pleasure boats away from the area.”

Mr Turner has now urged the public not to touch anything that washes up on the beaches.

He said: “The people who found it actually picked the grenade up and carried it to the heritage centre, who then did the right thing in phoning us immediately.

“If anybody has any suspicion about anything on the beach, note where it is, stand back from it and call the experts.

“The bomb disposal team said it was pretty old and pretty rusty, so it could have ended very badly for them. I wouldn't advise anyone to touch anything they think might look dangerous. If it looks dangerous it probably is.”

It is the second time in just over a month that Second World War ammunition has been found on the beach, after a Howitzer Shell was discovered at the start of March.

Mr Turner added: “The bad weather we have had and the movement of the cliffs has thrown up a lot of stuff from the wars, and there were a lot of troops based in the area during the war, so if the public do find anything, just report it.”

Comments (8)

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6:24pm Mon 14 Apr 14

portlandboy says...

A member of the public carried it to a tourist attraction??
How do these people get through a day let alone a whole life?
A member of the public carried it to a tourist attraction?? How do these people get through a day let alone a whole life? portlandboy
  • Score: 28

7:23pm Mon 14 Apr 14

malkie says...

" You are expecting a burm?" ;-)
" You are expecting a burm?" ;-) malkie
  • Score: 0

8:57pm Mon 14 Apr 14

JackJohnson says...

portlandboy wrote:
A member of the public carried it to a tourist attraction??
How do these people get through a day let alone a whole life?
Usually it's a short life which ends with a Darwin award. Sadly, sometimes they take innocent bystanders along on the ride with them.
[quote][p][bold]portlandboy[/bold] wrote: A member of the public carried it to a tourist attraction?? How do these people get through a day let alone a whole life?[/p][/quote]Usually it's a short life which ends with a Darwin award. Sadly, sometimes they take innocent bystanders along on the ride with them. JackJohnson
  • Score: 8

12:06am Tue 15 Apr 14

westbaywonder says...

They walk among us.
They walk among us. westbaywonder
  • Score: 5

9:45am Tue 15 Apr 14

K9 says...

I do hope the member of staff at the centre shouted "Grenade!" as they dived for cover behind the counter.
I do hope the member of staff at the centre shouted "Grenade!" as they dived for cover behind the counter. K9
  • Score: 3

2:28pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Fossilwalks says...

Having worked here 17 years I have heard of 4 being found over the years, yet there are no warning signs on the beach about unexploded ordinance which may be found on what is a fossilling beach where people are looking all the time! Live bullets turn up on a regular basis. By the way all the graphic safety signs which warned of going under the cliffs and rock falls have been washed away in the winter storms, yet none have been replaced. Shame on you councils involved. Easter is a very busy time at Charmouth and its a time when cliffs give way after the winter rain. Remember poor Charlotte Blackwell who died on Freshwater beach when the cliff gave way.. Chris, fossilwalks.com
Having worked here 17 years I have heard of 4 being found over the years, yet there are no warning signs on the beach about unexploded ordinance which may be found on what is a fossilling beach where people are looking all the time! Live bullets turn up on a regular basis. By the way all the graphic safety signs which warned of going under the cliffs and rock falls have been washed away in the winter storms, yet none have been replaced. Shame on you councils involved. Easter is a very busy time at Charmouth and its a time when cliffs give way after the winter rain. Remember poor Charlotte Blackwell who died on Freshwater beach when the cliff gave way.. Chris, fossilwalks.com Fossilwalks
  • Score: 3

4:48pm Tue 15 Apr 14

portlandboy says...

Fossilwalks wrote:
Having worked here 17 years I have heard of 4 being found over the years, yet there are no warning signs on the beach about unexploded ordinance which may be found on what is a fossilling beach where people are looking all the time! Live bullets turn up on a regular basis. By the way all the graphic safety signs which warned of going under the cliffs and rock falls have been washed away in the winter storms, yet none have been replaced. Shame on you councils involved. Easter is a very busy time at Charmouth and its a time when cliffs give way after the winter rain. Remember poor Charlotte Blackwell who died on Freshwater beach when the cliff gave way.. Chris, fossilwalks.com
Do you expect to see warning signs across every garden, street, vacant plot or beach in the country? The war happened to be EVERYWHERE in this country so, if we are to follow your suggestion, anyone who might decide to dig a hole, build an extension, lay a pipe or cable should be warned of the potential for finding unexploded ordinance by a big sign?
Of course not. It just takes common sense to realise that if you find something that might be dangerous, you walk away from it and call in the experts.
[quote][p][bold]Fossilwalks[/bold] wrote: Having worked here 17 years I have heard of 4 being found over the years, yet there are no warning signs on the beach about unexploded ordinance which may be found on what is a fossilling beach where people are looking all the time! Live bullets turn up on a regular basis. By the way all the graphic safety signs which warned of going under the cliffs and rock falls have been washed away in the winter storms, yet none have been replaced. Shame on you councils involved. Easter is a very busy time at Charmouth and its a time when cliffs give way after the winter rain. Remember poor Charlotte Blackwell who died on Freshwater beach when the cliff gave way.. Chris, fossilwalks.com[/p][/quote]Do you expect to see warning signs across every garden, street, vacant plot or beach in the country? The war happened to be EVERYWHERE in this country so, if we are to follow your suggestion, anyone who might decide to dig a hole, build an extension, lay a pipe or cable should be warned of the potential for finding unexploded ordinance by a big sign? Of course not. It just takes common sense to realise that if you find something that might be dangerous, you walk away from it and call in the experts. portlandboy
  • Score: 2

5:18pm Tue 15 Apr 14

JackJohnson says...

Fossilwalks wrote:
Having worked here 17 years I have heard of 4 being found over the years, yet there are no warning signs on the beach about unexploded ordinance which may be found on what is a fossilling beach where people are looking all the time! Live bullets turn up on a regular basis. By the way all the graphic safety signs which warned of going under the cliffs and rock falls have been washed away in the winter storms, yet none have been replaced. Shame on you councils involved. Easter is a very busy time at Charmouth and its a time when cliffs give way after the winter rain. Remember poor Charlotte Blackwell who died on Freshwater beach when the cliff gave way.. Chris, fossilwalks.com
People would, rightly, feel more than a little patronised by signs telling them that if they find anything they suspect is ordnance:

- Do not move it. Most especially do not move it to a place that puts more people at risk than where they found it.
- Clear the area.
- Inform the coast guard, police, or ANY emergency service who will know who to contact to identify it and, if necessary, make it safe.

Talk about stating the bleedin' obvious...

Then again, these days if an organisation hasn't warned them some clown will make a pig's ear of something and try to sue for it.
[quote][p][bold]Fossilwalks[/bold] wrote: Having worked here 17 years I have heard of 4 being found over the years, yet there are no warning signs on the beach about unexploded ordinance which may be found on what is a fossilling beach where people are looking all the time! Live bullets turn up on a regular basis. By the way all the graphic safety signs which warned of going under the cliffs and rock falls have been washed away in the winter storms, yet none have been replaced. Shame on you councils involved. Easter is a very busy time at Charmouth and its a time when cliffs give way after the winter rain. Remember poor Charlotte Blackwell who died on Freshwater beach when the cliff gave way.. Chris, fossilwalks.com[/p][/quote]People would, rightly, feel more than a little patronised by signs telling them that if they find anything they suspect is ordnance: - Do not move it. Most especially do not move it to a place that puts more people at risk than where they found it. - Clear the area. - Inform the coast guard, police, or ANY emergency service who will know who to contact to identify it and, if necessary, make it safe. Talk about stating the bleedin' obvious... Then again, these days if an organisation hasn't warned them some clown will make a pig's ear of something and try to sue for it. JackJohnson
  • Score: -1

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