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Beach 'bomb' was the SS Alba boiler

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: September 06, 2012

  • Police and coastguards at Porthmeor Beach, St Ives.

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BOMB DISPOSAL experts were called to a busy St Ives beach after a holidaymaker spotted what they thought could be an unexploded ordnance. The alarm was raised after a rusty piece of metal was uncovered at low tide along Porthmeor.

The coastguard, police and bomb disposal team based in Plymouth were alerted to the suspicious-looking find and a 100 metre cordon was put up to keep beachgoers away.

After closer inspection the object was revealed as the boiler from a shipwreck.

"Speaking on the phone with the bomb disposal unit a description and identification was relayed to them to enable a decision to be reached that the object was not dangerous but was of unknown origin," said Bob Charleston, of St Ives Coastguard Rescue team.

"It was agreed that rather than a piece of ordnance it was a ship's boiler most probably from the wreck of the SS Alba that had become uncovered."

The coastguard team and police remained on the beach until the object was covered by the tide. The bomb disposal team arrived the following day, assessed the object and said it was safe to leave in situ as it posed no danger.

The incident unfolded last Friday when ten-year-old Bristol holidaymaker Bethan Hart found the object and asked her dad Tim to take a look.

Following the incident, Penzance's Inspector Jean Phillips said the family did the right thing: "It is always better to be safe than sorry," she said.

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