Sunday, 19 June 2016

They Don't Grow on Trees....or do they?

This is Barney and his son Reuben from Andover who were out in Studland on Saturday when they spotted what looked like a bomb in a tree and contacted the Coastguard, although by the time of this photograph the ordnance, dating from WWII, had been declared safe.
Once the ordnance had been declared safe, the family pose for a quick photo before the item was returned to the EOD team for removal and disposal. 

The heavily corroded item was found lodged in the branches of a silver birch tree on the harbour side of the Ferry Road in Studland and so, having cordoned off the area, police and Coastguard called the Army bomb disposal experts for advice.  The Army EOD team suspected the device could still be explosive and set off from their base in Wiltshire. 

The Coastguard Team assisted with implementing and maintaining a safe cordon
On their arrival, the device was X-Rayed and analysed whereupon it was found to be solid inside rather than liquid.  It was confirmed to be safe and removed from the site by road.  It is believed the item was an armour piercing solid shot, although quite what would have fired it or left it there is unknown.  Had it been highly explosive, the intention was to bury it and detonate it on the beach, and the further team members would have been paged to 'sweep' the beach and keep it free of people.

Declared safe by the Army EOD team, this ordnance never contained explosives.

We ran some blogs on ordnance only a few weeks ago, and this is typical of the many pieces of ordnance to be found in and around Studland.

The armour piercing shot was lodged several feet up in a tree

So how did it get in the tree?  Good question, and the only logical answer is that someone must have picked it up and put it there.  The tree certainly wasn't there 70 years ago for it to land in!

Was that a good idea?  Not really.  Whoever picked it up couldn't have been sure what it was and disturbing it could have set it off. 

What should have happened?  Whenever you find ordnance, or something you suspect to be ordnance in and around the beach or coast area, 999 Coastguard.   (If you find ordnance further inland call 999 Police.  And if you cant decide who to ask for, call 999 anyway and describe what you have found).  Stand well clear and wait for further instruction.

Once the item had been removed, the road and ferry which were closed for about 3 hours were reopened.

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