Mine drama at Elliot beach

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A SECOND World War German mine was removed from the beach at Elliot on Saturday in a combined operation involving Tayside Police, HM Coastguard and a team from the Royal Naval Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) unit at Faslane.

At about 2.55 p.m. a member of the public who had been walking on the beach found what she believed to be an old mine. A cordon was put around the object and the EOD team was called. It arrived on scene at 7.15 p.m.

On examining the object, the experts confirmed that it was a Type GY German buoyant mine left over from the Second World War.

They checked the mine and confirmed that it was extensively corroded and inert although some of its component parts were still attached. No controlled explosion was required and the mine was removed for disposal.

The beach was reopened at 9 p.m.

Inspector Ally Robertson, Tayside Police, explained: “The mine was discovered by a member of the public at Elliot beach near the 14th and 15th holes of the gold course.

“Officers at the scene made an initial assessment and decided to call out an EOD team. As the device was below the high water mark, it was the responsibility of the Royal Navy.

“Much of it had been eroded away and it was filled with rocks and sand.”

It is believed that once the mine had been categorised as safe, it was pulled from the sand. An eyewitness said that the device was quite large and must have taken three or four people to lift it.

Inspector Robertson said that the walker had done exactly the right thing by contacting the police.

He went on: “Our advice in such situations is do not touch anything, move away from the device and let the police know the location. If it believed that what has been found is dangerous, they will set up a cordon at an appropriate distance and wait for the experts to arrive and deal with it.”

The inspector said that, although not applicable in this instance, a lot of ordnance was dumped at sea after the end of the Second World War and some of it is now beginning to get washed up. Similarly, there were bombing ranges in the area and the ordnance from that activity occasionally surfaces.

He stressed: “We never compromise on public safety.”