Dad relives moment his kids handed him a live bomb on a Highland beach

Children who discovered live World War II bomb on Rosemarkie beach, Isabelle (7), Abigaile (12) and Samuel (6).
Children who discovered live World War II bomb on Rosemarkie beach, Isabelle (7), Abigaile (12) and Samuel (6).

A relieved dad has spoken of the heart-stopping moment his three young children discovered a live mortar while on a walk at a Highland beauty spot.

Dave and Victoria Roebuck had no idea that their family day out at Rosemarkie beach would end in a specialist Royal Navy bomb disposal squad being scrambled.

The couple from Beauly were on the look-out for dolphins on Tuesday when their three children returned holding the live device, saying: “look what we found”.

Mr Roebuck knew immediately what it was, quickly “grabbed hold of it” and carefully placed the mortar on the sand, as the family retreated to a safe distance and called the police.

Mr Roebuck said: “Although we tell our children to be careful crossing road and not talk to strangers, we never thought to tell them about finding an unexploded bomb.”

The couple’s children, 12-year-old Abigaile, seven-year-old Isabelle and six-year-old Samuel, even washed the device in a nearby stream before presenting it to their mum and dad.

“We were on a family walk on the beach with two dogs and three kids, getting some exercise,” Mr Roebuck explained.

“We got to the cave at the end where there’s a little glen. There’s a stream and a waterfall at the end of it, it’s quite a pretty spot.

“Me and my wife were stood watching dolphins at the bottom of the glen and the kids were playing.

“One of them said ‘look what we found, look what we found’, and came running back with what looked like a World War II mortar bomb. They had washed it in the stream.”

Youngest child Samuel had discovered the mortar and eldest Abigaile had washed it, unaware of the potential danger.

Mr Roebuck quickly took the device from the youngsters and moved them away.

“I knew what it was, I was 100% sure what it was. I grabbed hold of it and put it down on the sand. We got 30 to 40ft away and then phoned the police,” he said.

“It was scary. The kids were excited. When I told them what it was, the two youngest were probably too young but the oldest said ‘really?”

The Northern Diving Group, a wing of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit based at the Faslane base, safely detonated the mortar on Wednesday.

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