Kids thought they were playing with a washed-up buoy; they were wrong
“We get things washed up all the time, so we thought it was a buoy. We never thought for one second it was a bomb.”
A useful rule to remember when it comes to parenting is to always expect the unexpected. Whether you are at home or outside, it’s better to be alert and aware of your surroundings than have it blind side you, as what almost happened to this English family.
The Gravells were enjoying a family beach outing one bright, sunny day when the children saw a washed up buoy on the beach.
“My children took their boogie boards down and we were going out to the sea,” said their mom Kelly Gravell of Burry Port, Wales in an ABC News report. “We saw a large object on the beach, so we thought we’d have a little look.”
Finding the object’s massive and round shape appealing, Erin, 6, and Ellis, 4, began to play with it, even posing for photos with it.
“We were more fascinated by the barnacles on it,” Kelly recalled. “My son was touching it and was knocking on it a little bit, and that was it really.”
Five days later, on their Facebook page, Pembrey Country Park officials announced that the “buoy” discovered on the seashore was actually a United States military mine bomb.
Kelly and her husband were informed of the announcement by a friend who saw on their Facebook the photos they had taken on the beach with their children and the bomb.
“We get things washed up all the time, so we thought it was a buoy,” Kelly said. “We never thought for one second it was a bomb.”
The realization that it was a bomb was “shocking for us,” said Kelly. “We realize now just how lucky we were.”
According to Allison Thomas-David, the press and communications officer for Carmarthenshire County Council, it is common for objects to wash ashore in the area.
“It very much looks like a buoy, which we get on the regular, but around it was gooseneck barnacles,” she said. “Of course as the barnacles started dropping off, that’s when we could see writings exposed.”
Although it hasn’t been confirmed, officials believe that the bomb dates back to the second world war.
“This was picked up by the coastguard who then notified the bomb squad,” Allison added. “Obviously we evacuated the beach straightaway. It detonated in a controlled explosion 6 p.m. Monday evening.”
The Gravells drove down the beach to watch the bomb’s detonation.
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