Caloundra hobby metal detector Shay Burgess discovered an exploded artillery shell just six inches beneath the surface at the Currimundi Lake on Sunday.
Caloundra hobby metal detector Shay Burgess discovered an exploded artillery shell just six inches beneath the surface at the Currimundi Lake on Sunday.

Explosive details behind Coast bomb shell discovery

HOBBY metal detector Shay Burgess is relieved he was the one to dig up a potential live explosive at Currimundi Lake yesterday rather than a young child.

The Caloundra local said he often found old bullets and shrapnel, but a large artillery shell six inches beneath the surface was a first.

Mr Burgess called the Caloundra police shortly after uncovering the relic about 4pm Sunday.

Caloundra police Senior Constable Patrick Gardiner said in the 11 years he had worked in Caloundra, he had only ever responded to two reports of potential explosives, but warned they were common in the area which had been used for army target practice during World War II.

Snr Const Gardiner said the army were unavailable to respond Sunday afternoon, so the area was sectioned off until this morning.

 

Shay Burgess shared this image of an ammunition shell, dug up just inches below the surface at the Currimundi Lake.
Shay Burgess shared this image of an ammunition shell, dug up just inches below the surface at the Currimundi Lake.

He confirmed the shell was empty, but stressed all artillery needed to initially be treated as live.

Red and white signs line the popular fishing and family destination as the Currimundi area is known to have unexploded ordinances - any type of explosive which has failed to explode.

The Friends of Currimundi page explains for safety reasons, all activities are restricted when working in virgin areas, and work is prevented in the area until the land involved has been screened by explosives experts.

Snr Const Gardiner said the Army swiftly identified the shell, but he could not provide further details.

Mr Burgess speculated from the size and weight, it was most likely from a 6lb field gun.

He said while at face value it may look "very cool and harmless", they can be very unstable and "very much alive" and hoped this heightened people's awareness to the many unexploded ammunition.

Mr Burgess said metal detecting was his hobby, and he enjoyed helping people get their lost items back.

Other war relics have been uncovered in the area over the years, including an unexploded grenade found when a father and son tunnelled under a pathway in 2013.

The father, Gavin Smith, said he could remember people filling wheelbarrows full of explosives when he first built the house in the 1950s.

Snr Const Gardiner said if anyone comes across something suspicious, do not move it and call the police straight away.



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