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article imageTorpedo found in English Channel

By Lynn Curwin     Feb 9, 2011 in World
Eastbourne - A six-metre (20 foot) torpedo was discovered floating in the English Channel, close to a busy shipping lane, on Tuesday.
The device was spotted about eight kilometres (five miles) off Beachy Head by fisherman Peter Storey, who was on his boat at the time.
Heart Radio reported that Storey took pictures of the torpedo with his mobile phone and sent them to the coastguard, which passed them along to the Royal Navy's bomb disposal team based at Portsmouth.
After they let him know that the barnacle-covered torpedo's explosive charge had corroded off, he placed a rope around it and towed it to shore about half a mile from Sovereign Harbour in Eastbourne.
Bomb disposal experts checked it early Wednesday morning to ensure it posed no risk before bringing it into the harbour.
The Mark 9 had a stamp stating it was last checked and tested in 1955.
"The main concern of the fisherman was that it was close to the Newhaven to Dieppe ferry route," the BBC quoted Mark Sawyer, Coxswain with the Eastbourne RNLI, as saying.
"He was worried it could go off and posed a hazard to navigation.
"He realised it was some sort of explosive but it was found that the explosive charge had corroded off and the rest of it had floated to the surface."
He said the bomb disposal team believe the Mark 9 was a training torpedo.
The Argus reported that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency believe the projectile, which was found just a few miles from the Newhaven to Dieppe ferry route, came from a wreck.
More about Torpedo, English channel, Channel, Shipping
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