'Big fish' poked at by couple is World War Two mortar shell
A couple who poked at a 'big fish' got a shock when they realised it was a suspected World War Two mortar shell.
A section of Murlough Beach in Newcastle, Co Down, was closed by police yesterday as Army bomb squad officers rushed to the scene.
Artist Dawn Mitchell, who spotted the rusted object with her husband, had been taking photographs of the Mourne Mountains from the beach that afternoon.
She said her dogs were playing in the sea when one jumped out of the water. She looked to find out what had frightened her dog and saw what a "big fish".
She said her husband "poked at it with a stick" but stepped back and said: "It's got fins – it's a mortar."
The couple phoned the Coastguard to report their discovery and were advised to take a photograph of the object. On sending the picture, the Coastguard told them to move well away from the object but to remain on the beach to point out its location.
The South Down Coastguard arrived followed by police who sealed off the beach.
A PSNI spokesman said the operation was due to the "discovery of what is believed to be a World War Two mortar shell".
A coastguard spokesman said the object was submerged, but was to be examined this morning.