Suspected torpedo sparks Blackdog beach alert

Deserted: The object, which had first been thought to be a discarded boiler, was in fact a torpedo tube according to Coastguard sources.
Deserted: The object, which had first been thought to be a discarded boiler, was in fact a torpedo tube according to Coastguard sources.

A TEAM of naval bomb disposal experts was scrambled to a North East beach this week, after a member of the public spotted what they thought could be an unexploded bomb buried in sand in the North Sea just off Blackdog.

The suspicious object was found not far from the fishing station at Blackdog. The object, which was at first thought by Coastguard Officers to be a discarded heating boiler, nevertheless sparked an alert which saw a Royal Navy Ordnance Disposal team from the Northern Diving Group dispatched to the scene from HM Naval Base Clyde at Faslane in Argyll.

Once on site, a spokesman confirmed that the team took the decision to dispose of the object - thought to be an old torpedo tube - and a controlled explosion was carried out at around 7.20am on Wednesday morning.

One local confirmed that there had been some activity down on the beach on Monday night, as officers from Aberdeen Coastguard, which was co-ordinating the operation, tried to identify the object and the level of risk which it was thought to present. However, the operation was stood down for the evening as the tide came back in, submerging the object beneath the incoming sea water.

The Ellon Times spoke to Aberdeen Coastguard shortly after lunchtime on Tuesday. Officers confirmed that although the object was not thought any longer to be dangerous, bomb disposal experts would nevertheless still be making their way to Blackdog beach to investigate further as a precautionary measure. The incident is not the first time that bomb disposal experts have had to make a dash to the North East. Last March, a torpedo was found in Peterhead Harbour, after being accidentally towed in by a fishing trawler. An Army bomb disposal team later disposed of it at sea.

A spokesman from HMNB Clyde confirmed to the Ellon Times that a large object had been found stuck in sand. Although there was no explosive material thought to be inside the object, which was said to be “totally unidentifiable”, divers had still taken the precaution of conducting a controlled explosion so as to avoid any danger and further public alarm.