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Wartime bomb removed near Thames starting line in time for famous boat races

The annual Oxford-Cambridge boat races will go ahead after an unexploded Second World War bomb found near the starting line was safely removed.

Police were called on Saturday after a member of the public spotted the device in the River Thames near Putney Bridge, yards from where the rowing event will get under way.

Marine experts examined the submerged bomb and it was removed by specialist officers, Scotland Yard said.

Chief Inspector Tracy Stephenson said: "I'm very happy to update that the ordnance has now been safely removed and the race will be going ahead as planned.

"We have been working very closely with the organisers of the boat race to plan this event, which is eagerly awaited by spectators and supporters alike."

Thousands of people are expected to line the banks of the Thames to watch the 163rd edition of the Boat Race between the two universities.

The men's event starts at 5.35pm, while the women's race - in its 72nd year - begins at 4.35pm.

A spokeswoman for the event said the race was only ever called off during the First World War and Second World War.

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