Fisherman lands surprise catch

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By Cara Sulieman

A FISHERMAN got more than he had bargained for when he pulled up his net to reveal a TORPEDO rather than his expected haul of prawns.

Robert Thomson was fishing near Port Seton in East Lothian when he stumbled upon the 12-foot long explosive.

Bundling it into his boat, he called the coastguard and nervously waited for a couple of hours for a bomb disposal unit to arrive.

But after his tense wait, the 42-year-old found out that it was a dummy used as a practice devise by the Royal Navy.

“Wasn’t scared”

He said: “I go out daily on my boat, the Emma Jane, but on Monday I felt something huge tug on my net.

“I spent 45 minutes wrestling with it before pulling up a huge bomb. I bundled it into my boat and called the coastguard.

“It’s not something you see everyday, but I wasn’t too scared as I’ve pulled up ammunition before.

“Nowadays I find all sorts of things in the seas, including bits of plane, bits of submarine – all kinds of strange things.”

The Royal Navy’s Northern Diving Unit arrived to dispose of the devise and quickly realised it was a dummy mine.

“Harmless”

But they still destroyed it with a controlled explosion to avoid it from causing a hazard to any other ship.

Chief Petty Officer Lee Yates headed up the team and explained why they had taken this action.

He said: “When we heard of the ‘bomb’ we asked Mr Thomson to stay put because if he brought it into the harbour it could have potentially cause a lot of damage, but when we went out there we saw that it was a harmless practice mine.

“However, it wasn’t advisable that Mr Thomson brought it aboard – if he had been real and it had exploded there wouldn’t have been a fishing boat left.

“We usually find around 400 bits of ammunition of some sort every year, but it is unusual to find a torpedo.

“We put the device back in the water away from any service pipes and returned the following day to blow it up underwater.

“During the Second World Was the Germans laid over 360,000 mines and we laid a few ourselves to protect certain assets, so there is a chance you could uncover something.”

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