The ‘Beach Buoy’ These Children Were Photographed Playing Around? An Undetonated WWII Mine.
by Owen James Burke
“My son was touching it and was knocking on it a little bit,” said mother Kelly Gravell. Photo: ABC News/Wales News Service (presumably snapped by Kelly Gravell).
On August 12th, Burry Port, Wales, UK resident Kelly Gravell took her 4 and 6 year old children down the the beach with their boogie boards. Walking across the sand, they noticed a “large object” covered in barnacles, and decided to investigate further.
“We get things washed up all the time,” Gravell told ABC News, “so we thought it was a buoy. We never thought for one second it was a bomb.”
Photo: ABC News/Wales News Service (presumably snapped by Kelly Gravell).
Then, five days later, officials released a photo of Gravell’s children on their Facebook page, announcing that the mysterious object was an undetonated United States military mine bomb, probably–almost certainly–dating back to World War II, which, terrifying as it may seem, is not an uncommon object to make UK shores.
The coastguard evacuated the beach immediately, and the device was detonated in a controlled environment last Monday evening. Shocked but relieved, Gravell and her husband, Gareth, took the children down to the beach to watch the explosion, realizing just how lucky they were.
The family said they would be more mindful of strange metal objects lying unattended on the beach from now on—and, on that note, so will I.
Watch the detonation below, and read more at ABC News. –OJB