A MAN with a metal detector had the shock of his life when he discovered an unexploded bomb on a beach near Dartmouth.
Self-employed gardener Danny Bowden, 28, was out for a regular afternoon treasure hunt when he came across the unexpected find at Strete Gate Beach on Monday afternoon.
‘Straight away I found Second World War .303 bullet shells and parts of military vehicles,’ he said.
‘I knew the storm had brought these items up but what I dug up next was something I will never forget.
‘The signal went off, so I started to dig and straight away the big bullet-shaped item was in my sand scoop. It was about a foot long and very heavy. I carefully brushed away more sand revealing a cylinder-shaped item.
‘I was in shock but took a deep breath and carefully and gently covered it back up and went to find a phone signal to call the police.’
The area was cordoned off overnight and Royal Navy bomb bisposal officers attended on Tuesday morning to carry out a controlled explosion of the device above the high-water line.
They confirmed that the object was indeed ordnance from the Second World War, and destroyed the object in a controlled detonation, together with a smaller shell that was found further along the beach.
Danny, who lives in Salcombe, said his partner Rachel was always telling him to be careful when out metal detecting.
‘I will definitely be digging more gently in future,’ he added. ‘I would also like to say a big thank you to Dartmouth police for handling it all so well.’
A police spokesman reminded people not to touch any suspicious objects found washed up around the coast.