Sea defence work unearths WW2 bomb

Royal Navy bomb disposal experts had to be called in to a Suffolk beach after a contractor working on sea defences accidentally unearthed an unexploded wartime bomb.

The 500kg device, which has been identified as a German bomb left over from the Second World War, is thought to be one of the largest ever washed up on the British coastline.

Around 1,200 residents living near the Felixstowe beach were evacuated from their homes after the contractor scooped up the shell with a digger.

Royal Navy bomb disposal specialists towed the bomb out to sea and set up a cordon to protect ships before carrying out a controlled explosion.

A 10-man team of specialist divers from navy bases in Plymouth, Portsmouth and Faslane, in Scotland, were sent out to relocate the bomb by sonar to dispose of it.

But the detonation had to be delayed by a day after heavy rain and fog hampered the team’s efforts to reach the bomb, but the Navy said it had not posed a threat to the public.

Speaking from the scene as the team prepared to carry out the controlled explosion last week, Lieutenant Commander Heather Tuppen, said: “The main point to note is that the public are safe.

“The bomb disposal team assured their safety by towing the bomb two miles out to sea.

“The bomb is no more dangerous now that it has been for the last 60 years.”

Sea defences such as walls and groynes have become a commons sight on the coast along Felixstowe as the local authority has fought to prevent the effects of coastal erosion.

Kate Martin

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