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'Controlled explosion' on Cornish beach

'Controlled explosion' on Cornish beach

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 10:57am 30th November 2017. (Updated at 2:52pm 30th November 2017)

A controlled explosion has been carried out on a beach in Falmouth after a device was found off the coast.

The bomb squad was called to Maenporth following reports of a parachute mine 800m offshore.

The Royal Navy bomb disposal team also got a 999 call from a local diver, who discovered the suspected mine off the coast on Wednesday morning.

The photographs were immediately sent to the EOD team based in Plymouth and Falmouth Coastguard Rescue Team and the Falmouth RNLI all weather lifeboat were scrambled.

The Lifeboat was keeping vessels clear of the area as a precautionary measure and the HM Coastguard issued safety broadcasts informing vessels of the exclusion zone.

Crews from Falmouth Coastguard have since confirmed that the device was a WWII bomb.

On Thursday morning, the Falmouth Lifeboat and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency confirmed they were going to detonate the item.

A 1200m exclusion zone was put in place and officials were advising people to keep their distance to stay safe.

A Falmouth Coastguard Rescue Team spokesperson said: "On scene, we met up with the EODU - Southern Diver Unit Team (Explosives Ordnance Disposal Unit) from Plymouth who wanted to locate the suspected device and identify it.

"We assisted the EODU Team on the shore and following some 'technical difficulties' with their vessel and with the help of Carl Gilbert from the cafe, we were able to get the dive team team up and running.

"The Lifeboat Crew assisted the dive team from the seaward side and after a time, they were able to locate and identify the device as a WWII, German 'G' Parachute Mine.

"As light was fading, it was deemed that a detonation of the now confirmed ordnance was too risky and it was decided to regroup at first light and reassessed conditions for a controlled detonation during the morning.

"A 1000 meter exclusion zone was immediately put in place around the ordnance and VHF broadcasts were made from CGOC Falmouth warning mariners of the potential dangers.

"We then stood down and RTB, ready for service by 1715."

They later added: "All services from the previous day met and planned the mornings work.

"Falmouth CRT members provided cliff side safety around the 'West Bay' area and the Lifeboat provided a seaward cordon alongside the EODU Dive Vessel.

"At 1025 there was a successful detonation and following clearance from EODU, the cordon was lifted and all services returned to their respective stations.

"Once complete, we stood down and RTB, ready for service by 1130

Officials say there were multiple bombs and mines dropped around the Falmouth area during the war, where many have been cleared over the years, several still exist.

EOD confirmed the device in question was the 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) Bombenmine or G Mine. Around 9 feet in length.

This was fitted with a tail made from 'Bakelite' which broke up on impact.

It had a photoelectric cell beneath a cover which detonated the bomb if exposed to light to counteract the work of bomb disposal units.

If you find any 'suspected' ordnance on our coastline, please call 999 and ask for the coastguard. 

It's important that you don't touch or move it. Keep your distance and call 999.

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