Aircraft rocket found near beach
AN unexploded Second World US?aircraft rocket was found on Wednesday afternoon on the coastal path near Slapton Sands.
The discovery was made by specialists from Bactec, a bomb disposal and landmine clearance company, which has been checking the path for dangerous devices during the past five weeks.
Police and Dartmouth Coastguards, led by station officer Andrew Pound, cordoned off the area while a team from the Royal Navy’s bomb disposal team at Plymouth carried out a controlled explosion.
This is the third explosive device to be found in the area in the past 10 days and members of the public are being reminded that should they find anything suspicious on the beach they should not touch it but call 999 immediately.
Mines and shells likely to have been used in Exercise Tiger, the rehearsals in 1944 for the subsequent D-Day landings, are regularly washed up along the coastline.
Devon County Council has employed the leading explosive ordnance team from Kent to check the area ahead of a new cliff footpath being built.
The experts from Bactec – many of whom are ex-military or have worked in counter-terrorism response or explosive device disposal – detected the rocket about one metre below ground, close to the toilets at Strete Gate, at around 2pm.
The 4.5 inch diameter aircraft rocket, with a badly corroded fuse, was identified as American circa 1943.
It was treated as a live device and the Royal Navy’s bomb disposal team from Plymouth was dispatched.
Coastguard Andy Carter said a 700 metre cordon was set up around the beach and the road above Strete Gate was closed while the rocket was destroyed in a controlled explosion.