A MILITARY smoke grenade which caused a section of Exmouth beach to be cordoned off for more than two hours was removed by bomb disposal experts yesterday afternoon (Wednesday February 5).

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A MILITARY smoke grenade - which caused a section of Exmouth beach to be cordoned off for more than two hours - was removed by bomb disposal experts yesterday afternoon (Wednesday February 5).

The device – around 20 years old and used in battle simulation exercises – was spotted earlier in the day while East Devon District Council staff were working on an ice cream hut damaged by that morning’s storms.

The coastguard was alerted, and a 30-metre exclusion zone was enforced while bomb disposal officers from the Royal Navy’s Southern Diving Unit One made their way to the scene.

Once there, officers extended the cordon to 60 metres, before confirming that the device was a smoke grenade of “relatively modern construction”.

The weathered canister was taken away for investigation and detonation, and the police cordon was lifted.

As his team left the scene, Lieutenant Pete Davis, officer in charge of Southern Dive Unit One in Devonport, Plymouth, said: “An item of ordnance was discovered by a member of the general public earlier today.

“It was uncovered by the current environmental conditions.

“It was a smoke grenade of relatively modern construction. These things can turn up in the seawater sometimes.”

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