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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

Divers discover WWII mortar bomb

ARMY engineers retrieved an old mortar bomb from Windermere after it was discovered by a group of South Lakeland divers.

0530110
DISCOVERY: Army divers remove a mortar bomb from the bed of Windermere. The ordnance, thought to be a practice round from the Second World War, was discovered by a member of Kendal Diving Club MILTON HAWORTH REF: 0530110

Members of 33 Royal Engineer regiment travelled from Cambridge yesterday to recover the weapon after police were informed that a suspicious device had been found in Bowness Bay.

A bomb disposal and dive team, led by Lieutenant Fallon Poole, began the search at 9am and within 45 minutes had brought ashore the rusty, seven-and-a-half-inch-long bomb.

Lt Poole, holding the mortar in her hand, told the Evening Mail it was harmless and most likely a practice item dating back to the Second World War.

She said: “Even so, with all items we find, the main thing at the forefront of our mind is the safety of civilians and witnesses.”

Lt Poole said her team was aided by an underwater route marked out by the three Kendal Diving Club members who found the mortar during a night-time exercise.

Paul Fry, diving club secretary and one of the trio of divers who discovered the device, said: “We’ve seen plenty of other things down there, but nothing like that.

“Obviously, round here you get lots of mobiles and cameras that tourists have dropped.

“There’s a huge amount of debris on the bottom of stuff that’s been dropped. We laid a trail of debris so they could follow the line of bottles and bricks and stuff.”

Asked about his reaction upon seeing the mortar, Mr Fry said: “Not to touch it!”

He added: “It was fairly obvious it was ordnance. One of the other divers is ex-military and was fairly sure it was a mortar, but the visibility is not stunning down there at 3.8 metres.

“It was quite exciting. You’re not quite sure what it is or what it can do.”

The mortar will be disposed of safely.

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