Thursday, May 10, 2012
A marine flare cannister washed up on Sandy Bay beach was blown up by the Royal Navy in a controlled explosion.
A mystery canister washed up on Sandy Bay beach was blown up by the Royal Navy amid public fears it was a bomb.
The Royal Navy’s southern dive unit ordnance disposal unit based at Devonport, Plymouth, carried out a controlled explosion after identifying the canister as a ‘potentially dangerous’ marine marker – a kind of flare.
A concerned member of the public raised the alarm, calling the emergency services.
A Royal Navy spokesman said: “It was potentially dangerous. If it had leaked, it could have spontaneously combusted with inherent danger to the public.
“Whoever called the authorities did the right thing.”
Sandy Bay beach was evacuated after the metal canister was spotted bobbing in the water off Straight Point.
An incoming tide and failing light meant the navy was unable to immediately blow up the canister.
Instead, it was buried in the sand, with a marker buoy attached, until the following morning.
A 25-year-old eyewitness from Brixington, who did not want to be named, said the beach had been full of holidaymakers and playing children prior to evacuation.
“When the beach was evacuated, there was a lot of confusion,” he said.
“Nobody really knew anything. People were asking what was going on.