Shoreham scallop trawler ‘catches’ WW2 bomb

Members of the Royal Navy Bomb Disposal Unit are pictured getting ready to head out to the Joanna C to dispose of the 500lb British bomb
Members of the Royal Navy Bomb Disposal Unit are pictured getting ready to head out to the Joanna C to dispose of the 500lb British bomb

A DAY’s fishing turned into a bit of a blast for a Shoreham skipper and his crew yesterday (Thursday) when they discovered a 500lb British bomb in their nets.

The bomb, said to be in pristine conditions, was pulled to the surface in nets by the Joanna C, a scallop trawler, as it moved along the coast off Beachy Head.

Members of the Royal Navy Bomb Disposal were called from Portsmouth to deal with the device, which was dropped to the bottom of the seabed and detonated remotely.

The drama unfolded shortly after 8am when the skipper of the Joanna C told coastguards that on raising his nets from the seabed off the coast of Beachy Head, he had found the bomb.

He and his two crew members were escorted towards Eastbourne’s all-weather lifeboat The Diamond Jubilee.

Within an hour, the Royal Navy Bomb Disposal Unit and four experts were taken out on the lifeboat towards the Joanna C.

The bomb disposal unit then used their own inflatable to head over to the Joanna C while the lifeboat anchored up half a mile away.

The crew were moved to safety aboard the lifeboat while four soldiers from the unit went on to the fishing vessel, manoeuvred the unexploded bomb over the side, waited until it hit the sea bed and then detonated it in a controlled explosion.

A no-go zone was created around the area.

An RNLI spokesperson said:“The boat’s skipper is an experienced fisherman and remained calm throughout the whole incident. It was probably dropped by plane returning to Britain in the Second World War.”