DANGER ZONE: Air Force warrant officer Damien Holding prepares to detonate
DANGER ZONE: Air Force warrant officer Damien Holding prepares to detonate "highly-explosive" WWII-era item on Currimundi Beach. Amber Hooker

Beach explosion as WWII artillery unearthed

"HIGHLY explosive" WWII ammunition was detonated on Currimundi Beach this morning after it was unearthed metres from a walking track where children play.

Hobby metal detector Shay Burgess made the "shock" find the previous day and said had he known what lay beneath he wouldn't have broken the six inches of surface.

 

SURPRISE FIND: Hobby metal detector Shay Burgess unearthed he WWII-era explosive off a beach access leading to Currimundi Beach. It's the second live ammunition he has found in a matter of weeks.
The WWII-era explosive was found Thursday. Shay Burgess

"It's not the first one I have dug up but I wasn't expecting it," he said.

"So life becomes very short... flashes before your eyes a little bit."

He was among the spectators as Caloundra Police established an exclusion zone more than 400m either side of the detonation site where air force warrant officer Damien Holiding had dug up and sand-bagged in preparation.

 

Australian Army ammunition technical officers (ATO) then transported the "highly-explosive item" about 150m from its original resting place off of the beach access 257 walking track.

Mr Burgess believes the ammunition was a 25lb QF field gun projectile, and said it was the second live explosive he had found in the area in a matter of weeks.

 

A
A "highly-explosive" WWII-era item was detonated at Currimundi Beach after it was discovered nearby a beach access walking track off Watson St. Amber Hooker

The army had removed the first.

Nearby residents were required to stay indoors during the explosion and dozens milled on the beach to catch a glimpse and earful as a loud "bang" resonated amidst plumes of smoke and sand.

ATO 567, name withheld, said local police called in the Regional Explosive Ordinance from their Enoggera barracks to determine the best way of dealing with the item, as is common practice when unexploded ordinance (UXO) are found.

Signs alert the public to UXO in the area, which Australian troops used for artillery training during World War II.

 

Hobby metal detector Shay Burgess unearthed a
Hobby metal detector Shay Burgess unearthed a "highly-explosive" WWII piece of ammunition six inches below the surface and a few metres off a Currimundi Beach access. Amber Hooker

"You always have to be careful searching," he said. "With the detector I have I pretty much know exactly what it is without even having to dig.

"I bought a new detector (Thursday) and it's a little bit different to my usual one.

"Had I been using my usual one, I wouldn't even have broken soil on that one. It would have been a call to the cops straight away to report it."