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Bomb disposal team arrive in Southwold

PUBLISHED: 14:56 29 July 2010 | UPDATED: 21:59 01 August 2010

A bomb disposal team is in Southwold today after an object, which is believed to be an unexploded mine, was found on the beach.

An area of the beach spanning four groynes, close to the Lord Nelson pub, has been cordoned off as further investigations take place following the discovery of the device by a swimmer on Tuesday.

A BOMB disposal team is in Southwold today after an object, which is believed to be an unexploded mine, was found on the beach.

An area of the beach spanning four groynes, close to the Lord Nelson pub, has been cordoned off as further investigations take place following the discovery of the device by a swimmer on Tuesday.

This lunchtime crowds were gathering to watch the Royal Navy bomb disposal team from Portsmouth carry out an assessment of the object, which is currently underwater.

At 12.15pm a diver went to the point marked by an orange buoy to take photos of the device and at 1.30pm the team were preparing to put sandbags around it. It is possible that they could detonate it in a controlled explosion, however the team has still not confirmed the exact details of the object, which is thought to be a mine dating back to the second world war.

Crowds have been gathering throughout the morning to watch the team in action, with many cameras pointing to the beach.

Holidaymaker Alison Hawkins, from Buckinghamshire, together with her group of eight friends and two teenage girls, was evacuated from a rented beach hut at 11.15am

“We've been here a fortnight, the children have been swimming in there. Some people have been swimming in that area this morning,” she said. “We want to know what it is.”

The device was first discovered on Tuesday by a swimmer. Coastguards were called to the scene at about 6.30pm and found the device, which measures about 15in (38cm) in diameter, half-buried in sand on the beach, below the high-water mark.

Dave Moore, watch officer at Great Yarmouth Coastguard, said: “This is something that would have been buried in the sand, rather than washed ashore.

“There was lots of ordnance buried on the beach. Sand moves up and down the coastline - mainly down, towards Ipswich - and sometimes it is exposed.

“People should not be alarmed. Stay outside the exclusion area and you will be absolutely fine. It's been there for 60 years or more so it's unlikely to go 'bang' on its own but we have to treat it with the utmost caution.”

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