Woman Tosses WWII Grenade to Dog

A woman recently discovered a WWII grenade near Harwich, Essex, but did not realize what she had found until she was already in danger. Instead, thinking that she had simply found a strange rock on the beach, the woman picked up the explosive and tossed it for her dog to fetch. Luckily, she was not the only one on the Dovercourt beach. A stranger saw her throw the WWII grenade and immediately leapt to action.

The stranger in question was a military explosives expert. He was off-duty and simply happened to be in the area. He notified the authorities, and the police evacuated the area while they had bomb disposal experts deal with the ordnance. Inspector Paul Butcher, who works with the police force in Essex, naturally warns people from making physical contact with a WWII grenade if they should happen to find one. Such instances are actually relatively common, with this explosive being the fifth one to wind up on that beach in as many weeks. Some of them, including the one nearly fetched by the dog, are still live after so many years, the Mirror reports.

Some may wonder how a woman could mistake an explosive for a rock in the first place. The answer is actually rather simple. Since the explosive was covered in barnacles when she found it on the beach, the woman had no way of seeing that it was a WWII grenade. This is common when these devices are found on the beach, though some are also completely free of barnacles and even look like they are in new condition.

Officials believe there may have been a crate of explosives located underwater near the beach, which would account for the continued findings. If the crate is now falling apart, then it is no surprise that a WWII grenade would manage to get out and float to shore every now and then. The idea that all of the explosives might be coming from the same original source has officials warning anyone who visits the Dovercourt beach to keep a watchful eye out for any danger.

Every WWII grenade found so far has been detonated in controlled explosions. It is not recommended for anyone who finds one of these devices to take it home or to attempt destroying it themselves. Safety is always key when encountering a WWII grenade or any other type of explosive. Many who find these devices remain safe, but some of them are incredibly lucky.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE