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Historic shells exploded by Ministry of Defence at Sandwich Bay

By Emily Stott

Seven shells have been exploded at Sandwich Bay after being found by a dog walker and his Labrador.

John Brewin and his dog Barnes Wallis discovered the 40lb black powder shells which he believes date back to the 1860s.

The black pooch sniffed out the bomb and also assisted the coastguard in finding the others.

Ministry of Defence team was called in to explode the shells

Ministry of Defence team was called in to explode the shells

He said: “The first one was found by my black Labrador Barnes Wallis. These are not the first he has found. Others were then located by the local coastguard team from Deal, assisted by Barnes again.”

They were found on Saturday morning at 9.15am and safely exploded by 1pm on Sunday.

The Royal Logistics Corps Bomb Disposal Team from Shorncliffe were tasked to demolish the shells.

Barnes Wallis discovered the shells

Barnes Wallis discovered the shells

The operation was coordinated by Dover Coastguard and police were also in attendance to cordon off the area from the public.

Low tides in March make discoveries like these more common, Andy Nye, a spokesman for the Coastguard explained.

He said: “When people find stuff on the beach, do not touch it. Dial 999 and report it to the coastguard straight away.

“Don’t touch it, don’t throw stones at it.”

He said many people phone the police but it saves time to tell the coastguard directly who then coordinate the situation.

This is not the first time that Mr Brewin and his dog, who live in Tilmanstone, have found an unexploded bomb at Sandwich Bay.

In June last year, the pair discovered a second world war shell which was also safely exploded by the Ministry of Defence’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit.

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