Amanda Lockey 'almost trod on' Dovercourt grenade

The controlled explosion on a beach in Dovercourt Image copyright Amanda Lockey
Image caption The three grenades were detonated in a controlled explosion

A mother of two has described how she "almost trod on" a live hand grenade while walking on an Essex beach.

Amanda Lockey, 37, found the device during a day out in Dovercourt and then noticed two others nearby.

Mrs Lockey, a chef from Stanford-le-Hope, said: "The grenades were live - they still had their pins in. It's lucky I was looking down at the time."

Bomb disposal experts say they now believe the explosives were "placed" on the beach rather than washed up.

Image copyright Amanda Lockey
Image caption Amanda Lockey, who was with her husband, Bob, 36, called police after finding the devices
Image copyright Amanda Lockey
Image caption The devices were detonated by a bomb disposal team

Mrs Lockey spent Saturday at the beach with 13 of her family, including her two daughters, aged 10 and five.

"I shouted up to everyone to say there's a grenade and no one believed me," she said.

"Then my husband looked and we found two more. We couldn't believe it.

Image copyright Amanda Lockey
Image caption Bomb disposal teams detonated the devices after being called on Saturday afternoon
Image copyright Amanda Lockey
Image caption Police sealed off the area during the operation

"I'd say I was a few feet away from it when I saw the first one. I almost trod on it. I had been in the sea and was wary of standing on jellyfish and stuff like that. That's why I was looking down and noticed it."

Captain Nick Mathieson, from the Colchester section of The Royal Logistic Corps 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, said the grenades were Second World War vintage No 36 Mills bombs.

"Blowing the grenades up in situ was the safest thing to do as old ammunition can be quite unstable," he said.

"They were in very good condition and looked like they had been placed on the beach rather than washed up from the sea."

The bomb disposal team was called to the beach to the beach, off Lower Marine Parade, just before 17:00 BST on Saturday.

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