When children decided to pose in front of what their parents thought was a beach buoy, it turned out to be a potentially extremely dangerous object.
The buoy was, in fact, a bomb, and it was later detonated.
The Gravell family—Kelly, her husband, and her two kids Erin, 6, and Ellis, 4—noticed the object while walking on their local beach of Burry Port, Wales.
The kids were curious as to what it was, and the parents thought it was harmless so they began posing next to it and taking pictures. The object was covered in barnacles, but it had numbers on the top of it.
“We get things washed up all the time, so we thought it was a buoy. We never thought for one second it was a bomb,” Kelly told ABC News.
Five days later, Pembrey Country Park officials announced on their Facebook page that the “buoy” was an old U.S. military mine.
“We were more fascinated by the barnacles on it,” she said. “My son was touching it and was knocking on it a little bit, and that was it really.”
Gravell and her husband Gareth were alerted to the news by a friend.
“The realization that it was a bomb—it was completely shocking for us,” she said. “We realize now just how lucky we were.”
The Coast Guard and a bomb squad later evacuated the beach and blew the bomb up in a controlled explosion.
“It very much looks like a buoy, which we get on the regular, but around it was gooseneck barnacles,” Allison Thomas-David, press and communications officer for Carmarthenshire County Council, told ABC. “Of course as the barnacles started dropping off, that’s when we could see writings exposed.”
The mine dates back to World War II.
“This was picked up by the coastguard who then notified the bomb squad,” Thomas-David added. “Obviously we evacuated the beach straightaway. It detonated in a controlled explosion 6 p.m. Monday evening.”
Kelly said she and her family went down to watch the mine being detonated by experts.
Over the years, World War II explosives have turned up in a variety of places, forcing evacuations and detonations.
We end the week on a delightful high 🤗 GSU MACA Troop successfully took part in the safe demolition of a WW2 German Bomb in Kingston Upon Thames, London. Working tirelessly through the night to put in a mitigation system to allow for a safe controlled detonation.@Proud_Sappers pic.twitter.com/JbDy46cPxf
— Carver Barracks (@carverbarracks) May 24, 2019
On May 27, at least 1,500 were evacuated in London after a 70-year-old bomb was found.
The police reached out to the Ministry of Defence for help and the adjoining areas were condoned. “The item has been examined by specialist officers. We have sought the assistance of MoD,” said a spokesman for the Kingston Police, according to Surrey Live.
— Claire (@claire_notclare) May 23, 2019
“Penryhn Road campus & 500m surrounding has been evacuated due to an unexploded WW2 bomb unearthed on Fassett Road. We have had to evacuate and close until the police & authorities inform us the area is safe again. We will keep you updated. Be safe1,” said one local on Twitter