BOMB disposal experts were called to Charmouth Beach after a WWII explosive was found.

The Royal Navy bomb disposal team carried out a controlled explosion this afternoon after the device, which was later established as a Howitzer Shell, was found by a member of the public late on Wednesday (March 5) afternoon.

A 200 metre cordon was put in place by the Lyme Regis Coastguards who attended the scene, and the investigation was postponed due to high tide. After bomb experts investigated the device, they carried out a controlled explosion shortly before 3pm.

Petty Officer Marshall, from the Southern Diving Unit 1 based in Plymouth, led the bomb disposal team which disposed of the explosive.

PO Marshall said: “The object was a 3.5inch in diameter Howitzer Shell, which do carry a fair bit of explosives. We used our kit and own explosives and it was disposed of at 2.55pm.

“There has been an increase in reports of devices found on British Coastal Areas due to the recent bad weather and the reduction of sand on the beaches due to the bad weather.

“This device was half buried under sand and rocks, and it is difficult to say whether it washed up or was left exposed by the bad weather.

“If the public do find any report it to the police straight away and they will then take the appropriate actions for public safety.”

Graham Turner, Lyme Regis Coastguard station manager attended the scene with six other coastguards and helped enforce the 200 metre cordon that was placed on the beach by the bomb disposal team.

Mr Turner said: “A member of the public reported a suspicious looking device that was partially uncovered on Charmouth Beach on Wednesday, March 5.

“When we arrived at the scene the tide had come in which meant we could not look at it, so we left it until the day after and alerted the bomb disposal team.

“When the bomb disposal team arrived and inspected the shell, they found it was a WWII Howitzer Shell, measuring about 2-3 foot long and 3.5 inches in diameter.”

Mr Turner also urged the public not to get too close to anything they suspect might be dangerous.

Mr Turner added: “If the public locate something they think might be dangerous, they should report it and get away from it immediately. In this case the woman who found it did the right thing and urge members of the public to stay away from anything like this for their own safety.”