Unexploded shell found on beach blown up by navy

Jim Carter-White pictured at the spot where he found a live explosive device on the beach at Browndown, Gosport
Jim Carter-White pictured at the spot where he found a live explosive device on the beach at Browndown, Gosport

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BOMB disposal experts detonated a live Second World War shell found washed up on a beach in Gosport.

Jim Carter-White was walking his dog along the beach at Browndown when he came across the shell on the pebbles.

The shell Jim Carter-White found on the beach

The shell Jim Carter-White found on the beach

Believing the rusty and cracked explosive was probably an old practice round, the 58-year-old former navy gunner called the police to be sure.

But when the Royal Navy’s bomb disposal experts arrived they found the 4.5-inch shell was live and detonated it on the spot.

Mr Carter-White, of Birchmore Close in Gosport, said: ‘The golden rule is never move and never touch, no matter how innocuous you think it is.

‘I decided it was a nice day to walk the dog down there at Browndown and I was walking just a few feet away from the shell.

‘I straight away realised what it was because I used to be a gunner in the navy.

‘It must have been out there for probably 70-odd years.’

As the tide was coming in, Mr Carter-White, a photographer, marked the spot where the British Second World War shell was located with a pile of stones.

Then he waited for the police and bomb experts to arrive.

Later in the evening, the police contacted the 58-year-old to say bomb disposal experts had found it was a live shell.

Mr Carter-White added: ‘I was surprised because I didn’t think it was a live one.

‘I assumed it was a dud or a practice round perhaps.

‘It could have come from an anti-aircraft gun or something, and of course what goes up must come down.

‘I don’t know whether it was the spring tide that might have brought it in or whether perhaps it was disturbed from underneath the shingle on the beach.’

Police put up a cordon around the beach while the navy’s bomb experts, who are based at Horsea Island, worked on the shell.

The shell had no fuse attached and so did not pose a threat but it did contain explosives.

They arrived on the scene at 5.30pm on Thursday and quickly detonated the device.

A spokeswoman for Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘We were called at 3.20pm.

‘A bomb disposal team arrived and they determined it was live and then it was disposed of.’

The area was cleared by 6pm.

The beach is close to the now disused Browndown firing range and training camp.