THE moment a treasure hunter realises a “plastic” toy grenade is the real thing has been captured in a dramatic video.
Simon Bourne found the bomb partially embedded in mud alongside part of a plastic toy crocodile.
But when the 37-year-old ran a miniature metal detector over the object he quickly realised it was a genuine Mills No.36 grenade.
The grenade, which was widely used in both World Wars and continued to be made until the early 1970s, was exposed at low tide in the River Crouch, Battlesbridge, Essex.
As well as the tense moment of discovery, the video also shows the moment the grenade was safely blown up by the Royal Logistics Corp on Saturday.
The Mills bomb was designed to spray shrapnel in all directions, causing potentially fatal injuries up 100 metres away.
Simon, 37, was producing a video for his treasure hunting Youtube channel Si-finds when he came across the “rusty” grenade.
Simon, from Upminster, Essex, can be heard asking: “Is that a frickin grenade?”
He zooms in and says: “Now there is something next to it that looks like a little plastic crocodile.
“I ain’t going to touch that [the grenade] because if it’s live it could be flipping dangerous.”
He passes a metal detector over the grenade and the device starts beeping rapidly.
Simon tells a pal: “That’s a grenade, bloody hell, mate that’s immense. I don’t know what to do, do I touch it? do I call the bomb squad?”
The video then cuts to soldiers preparing to safely detonate the grenade in a nearby field.
A soldier can be heard shouting “Right stand-by! Prime!”.
The grenade explodes obliterating the sandbags positioned to damp the blast and forcing sand upwards high into the air.
A loud bang shudders the peaceful countryside as Simon can be heard saying: “Cor! f****** hell. Can you imagine that on your mantelpiece?”
Simon today said there was a mix of emotions when he discovered the grenade.
Simon said: “I was excited, but also cautious, terrified and nervous all at the same time.
“I thought it might have been a toy because there was a plastic crocodile toy next to it, but when I checked to see it was metalic I was so excited”.
Simon was stunned by how powerful the grenade was.
Simon added: “We helped with moving the sandbags, and hoped we would get a front row seat to watch the detonation, which we did.
I was completely shocked. I never expected it to be so loud. After four hours it was the highlight of day.
Simon believes that this particular grenade may have even dated back to World War Two.
Simon said: “It is a mystery to how it got there but it had a lot of algae and sediment on it and the pin ring around was rusty. It may have been there since World War Two”.
A spokesman for Essex Police said the grenade was disposed of safely.
He said: “We were called shortly before 1.45pm on Saturday, November 17 with reports a grenade had been found in water in Maltings Road, Battlesbridge.
“The Ministry of Defence Explosive Ordnance Disposal team has been contacted.
It was taken to another location and disposed of safely”.
The Mills No. 36 grenade was in active service throughout the First World War right up to 1972 when manufacturing stopped on the weapon.
The Mills No. 36 grenade has the distinctive pineapple shape.
You can watch the full video of Simon finding the grenade on his Youtube channel Si-finds below: