A suspected 3″ British shell was unknowingly returned to Shoreham Harbour after being dregded up by its crew off Selsey in West Sussex. An Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team from Portsmouth arrived to remove the item, which discovered when unloading the ship of the dredged aggregate. The shell was removed for a controlled explosion in a remote location.
Dredgers operating in the English Channel haul in Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) on a fairly regular basis and clear guidance has been established by the Crown Estate to raise awareness of the risks associated with such activities and the protocols that can be put in place to mitigate them.
The Selsey coastline was long used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) for bombing and air gunnery practice, in addition to being the site of coastal defences firing projectiles out towards sea. The potential for dredgers to come across UXO in its vicinity is therefore well founded and fortunately in this instance resulted in no harm.