A father took photos of his children playing around and on what he thought was a washed-up buoy covered with barnacles only to discover later that it was an unexploded bomb from World War II.
Gareth and Kelly Gravell and their kids, Erin, 6, and Ellis, 4, were at West Beach in Burry Port near Llanelli, West Wales, last Wednesday when they discovered a three-foot-wide metal ball.
Not giving it a second thought, they allowed the kids to play on the object, and apparently continued to do so over the weekend, as they live close to the beach.
“When we were on the beach, we were more concerned with the barnacles on it,” Gareth told the Mirror. “I did see the chain, but I just thought it was a buoy.”
It wasn’t until Sunday that a ranger discovered the bomb and had the beach closed. After that, Gareth saw a story about a World War II bomb on the beach that warned people to stay 3,200 feet away.
“I saw the pictures today and thought it couldn’t be the same one they were playing with,” Gareth told the South Wales Evening Post on Monday. “But when I looked at it properly it was.”
Then he posted this tweet Monday:
— gareth gravell (@Gar_Grav) August 17, 2015
“So the buoy my kids were jumping on all weekend turns out to be a WWII bomb. Oops!!” Gareth tweeted.
Kelly told The Telegraph, “I even made the joke that it was a big bomb at the time but did not think anything of it. It’s only afterwards when the reality has set in that we were actually very lucky. We were close to disaster. It’s shocking.”
On Monday evening, a Royal Navy bomb disposal team detonated the mine on the beach with dozens watching from afar.
The Mirror posted video of the bomb squad carefully scraping off some of the barnacles before exploding the World War II bomb:
Thankfully, the story ended without tragedy.
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