A popular attraction in the West Wight on the Isle of Wight had to be evacuated yesterday afternoon. The area was cleared after a member of the public found a piece of live ordnance.
The visitor to the Needles sparked the alert after he found the 3 inch world war two shell. The shell had washed up on the beach.
Emergency services rushed to the scene just after 2.30pm. A team from the UK Coastguard based at the Needles working with the Police threw up a 200 meter cordon around the landmark attraction in Alum Bay. Staff and Visitors where moved away to a safe area, whilst waiting the arrival of the bomb disposal.
A Royal Navy Bomb Disposal team from Portsmouth quickly dealt with the shell. The area was declared safe just before 8pm.
A spokesman for the Needles attraction has issued the following: “Yesterday, a member of the public found what appeared to be a shell casing on the beach at Alum Bay. They alerted staff at The Needles Landmark Attraction who immediately called the coastguard. “Following strict safety protocols The Needles was closed until Royal Navy bomb disposal experts could safely remove the device, which they suspected to be from World War 2. “The Needles is now fully open for business again.”
A spokesman for the UK Coastguard said “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank management and staff of the Needles pleasure park for their understanding and assistance in this matter. I would also like to remind members of the public not to touch any suspicious objects they find along our coastline and report it to the coastguard on 999”