Jamie and Mia Stamp’s day out by the river almost went with more of a bang than they intended.
Jamie and daughter Mia, 12, from Grange Terrace, Ashbrooke, in Sunderland, were using magnets to dredge the River Wear at Chester-le-Street on Saturday when they pulled out a hand grenade.
“I took my daughter out for a day through at Chester-le-Street,” said 37-year-old Jamie.
“We had a couple of magnets and for the first time ever, we went magnet fishing.
“It’s just a magnet on the end of a rope, you throw it into the river and drag it out and it picks up anything magnetic that has been left in the river – there are a few videos on YouTube of people doing it.”
The day had been pretty uneventful and the pair were thinking of heading home when Jamie pulled out the unwelcome surprise.
The actual pin was stainless steel and it showed clearly what it was. We very carefully put it down and left it on the pier.Jamie Stamp
“Most of the stuff we were pulling out was rubbish, just bits of old drain pipe and railings that had been chucked in, that we were pretending were swords,” he said.
It was just after 4.30pm when he pulled out the grenade. Although the bomb’s body was badly corroded, Jamie knew immediately what it was.
“The actual pin was stainless steel and it showed clearly what it was. We very carefully put it down and left it on the pier.
“We rang the police who told us to cordon off an area about 250 metres from the grenade, then they came down and called the bomb squad out, who had to x-ray it.”
It turned out Jamie and Mia’s caution had been unnecessary.
“I went down yesterday and spoke to them, it turns out it was a practice grenade,” said Jamie.
“They have x-rayed it and say it is about 20 years old. It was not live.”