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Police scramble coastguard teams to deadly-looking item thought to be war explosive on Orkney beach

Coastguard volunteers assisted.
Coastguard volunteers assisted.

Police scrambled coastguard teams to investigate a deadly-looking war explosive on Orkney beach.

The coastguard crews based at Kirkwall and St Margarets Hope were alerted to Honeysgeo beach to investigate the suspected Second World War ordinance.

The incident happened at around 2pm on Sunday sparking an alert for the emergency rescue teams who raced to the sandy beach on the east coast of South Ronaldsay.

The teams came fully-prepared to seal off the quiet spot and ready to guard overnight awaiting day break’s arrival of the bomb squad.

A HM Coastguard spokesman said: “Sometimes the members have to stay there overnight if something is discovered which looks likely to be a danger to the public.”

He went on: “The item was reported to the police. We work on the option that it could be something dangerous. It was the Kirkwall and St Margaret’s Hope teams that went out.

“They went out to a place called Honeysgeo, there is a little beach there, and that’s where they found it, just lying on the beach.”


The strange item, which was discovered lying at an angle and partially-covered in the sand, was carefully surveyed by the emergency teams.

However, it turned out to be something harmless.

The HM Coastguard spokesman added: “The police went as well and determined that it was not anything to worry about. It was an axle for an old bit of farm machinery.

“I think the way it was lying half-buried in the sand made it look like it might be  something else.”

He added: “The crews went out at about 2pm, that’s when we were made aware of it, but I believe it was all finished by around 4pm.”

For live updates on all of today’s 999 and HM Coastguard rescues call-outs  follow the Press and Journal news blog.

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