Lancashire

Magnet fishermen 'shocked' to land WW1 grenade

Controlled explosion Image copyright @LANCSSPECIALS
Image caption Officers from the Army's Explosive Ordnance Disposal regiment carried out a controlled detonation

Two men found what was thought to be a World War One grenade while they were magnet fishing in a canal.

Rob Trowler and Gaz Thomas hauled the rusted device from the water near Tarleton, Lancashire.

People were diverted away from the area before the grenade was moved to a nearby field where a controlled explosion was carried out by army bomb disposal officers.

The Canals and Rivers Trust said magnet fishing was dangerous.

The pair alerted police after making the discovery in the Rufford Branch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at 15:15 BST on Thursday while trawling for scrap metal.

Mr Trowler, 30, said he believed it was a grenade manufactured by Mills Munitions.

"I couldn't believe it," he said

"I thought it was a grenade straight away and showed it to my friend who agreed we'd need to ring the police."

Mr Trowler said he went magnet fishing with Mr Thomas, 29, "a couple of times a week" and the pair had found items including "a sword, cannonballs, motorbikes and bags of coins".

He said the hobby was not dangerous "if you use common sense".

Image copyright ROB TROWLER
Image caption The magnet fishermen believe the grenade dated from World War One

The Canals and Rivers Trust said it had seen a spike in reports of magnet fishing, but warned it was dangerous to pull objects out of the water.

In June 2018, a man and his son died in Huddersfield while magnet fishing.

The Ministry of Defence told the BBC it dealt with devices found by magnet fishermen on a regular basis.

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