THE Royal Navy’s bomb disposal team have carried out a controlled explosion on a two-inch World War Two mortar on a holiday beach.

The Plymouth-based area ordnance disposal unit, Southern Diving Unit 1 was called out last night (Wednesday) initially, to what turned out on investigation by the Royal Naval divers to be non-ordnance and the area was cordoned off to the public.

But the mortar was subsequently found at the same place on Whitsand Beach, SE Cornwall. The British mortar was deemed a hazard and blown up on-site to permanently dispose of it.

Officer-in-Charge, Lieutenant Peter Davis said: “This week has required my team to deal with a number of historic items of ordnance dating back to World War Two. The South West was heavily proliferated with munitions as part of preparations for potential invasion and the mounting of Operation Overlord to retake Europe via Normandy. “A key lesson is that the degradation of these items makes them inherently more unstable, not safer as some members of the public have felt this week to their hazard. If items are uncovered and people believe them to be explosive ordnance, then it is essential that they are reported to the Police or Coastguard so that disposal can be carried out by authorised personnel.”