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Wartime mine sparks Southwold drama

PUBLISHED: 00:14 29 July 2010 | UPDATED: 21:59 01 August 2010

Jon Welch

A bomb disposal team is due in Southwold today to deal with an unexploded mine found on the beach.

An area of beach close to the Lord Nelson pub and Sailors' Reading Room has been cordoned off since the device was discovered by a swimmer on Tuesday.

A bomb disposal team is due in Southwold today to deal with an unexploded mine found on the beach.

An area of beach close to the Lord Nelson pub and Sailors' Reading Room has been cordoned off since the device was discovered by a swimmer on Tuesday.

Coastguards were called to the scene at about 6.30pm and found the device half-buried in sand on the beach, below the high-water mark.

The circular object measured about 15in (38cm) in diameter and is thought to be a mine dating back to the second world war.

An exclusion zone was set up around the object, which is submerged at high tide, but buildings have not been evacuated.

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.”

Coastguards were keeping watch at the scene last night until the object was covered by water, and are due back at 6am.

A Royal Navy bomb disposal team from Portsmouth is due at the beach at about midday today and it is possible that it could detonate the device in a controlled explosion.

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