No dramas as bomb team detonate charge

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IT MAY have sparked a huge alert, but the bomb dredged up by a fisherman only made a small ripple when it was exploded by the navy.

A one-mile exclusion zone was put in place in the Solent as navy divers detonated the 19th century explosive off Stokes Bay at 4pm yesterday.

A small plume of water was seen to rise in the air, bringing to an end the drama which started the previous night.

As reported in The News yesterday, fisherman Dave Claringbould was shocked to discover the device in his net.

The coastguard alerted the navy's bomb disposal unit who waited until high water yesterday to blow it up.

Chris Rudd, senior coxswain for the Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue, which was on hand to warn vessels of the detonation, said: 'We met up with the bomb disposal team and set up an exclusion zone.

'We had to ask a few vessels to change their course, as they were heading towards the exclusion zone.

'There was a charge put on the ordinance with a time fuse on it so everyone could back away.

'There was a small plume that went up to 15ft.

'I've attended these type of things before and there can just be a little ripple on the surface and that's it, so we didn't expect any more.

'But it was successful and there were no problems.'

Mr Claringbould has been a fisherman for 25 years, but has never before dredged up a bomb.

The 42-year-old, whose boat is based in Camber Dock, Old Portsmouth, was expecting to find some plaice and skate.

But when he hauled his net in at 10.30pm on Thursday night he got the shock of his life.

Dave, of Grove Road, Drayton, said: 'There's not many fishermen here who haven't had a bomb. I'd never had one before, though.

'Luckily I've never heard of one that's gone off but I was thinking there always has to be a first.'

The strangest item Dave had plucked from the water before was an old aeroplane propeller about 20 years ago.

The married father-of-three admits he feared for his life when it dawned on him what he had netted from the sea bed 80ft below.

'Looking back on it is quite emotional,' he said. 'When something like that happens you start having thoughts like you might not make it home and that kept going through my head. You just have to roll your sleeves up and get on with it though.'