Bomb squad called in after failed sniffer dog digs up live grenade

Bomb squad called to Winterton after dog finds explosive in dunes

There was drama at Winterton on Sunday after Luna the dog unearthed an unexploded device in the dunes. - Credit: Steve Rose

A man has described how his dog dug up a grenade on a Norfolk beach and "tossed it around like a tennis ball".

Steve Rose was out walking his cocker spaniel Luna on the dunes at Winterton on Sunday (April 24) at around 3.30pm when she ran off into the grass and "made a bit of a fuss".

Bomb disposal unit called to Winterton beach Norfolk

Police, coastguard, and the army bomb disposal unit were called out to Winterton on Sunday (April 24) after Luna the failed sniffer dog dug up a suspected live grenade. - Credit: Stanley Stone

When he rounded the corner and saw what she was playing with he said he was "slightly horrified", calling her off and alerting the emergency services.

Norfolk police and the Coastguard attended putting a cordon in place and calling in an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team, from at Colchester, after sending them photographs of the device, likely a practice explosive from the Second World War which could still contain some charge.

Bomb disposal unit called to Winterton beach Norfolk.

An army bomb disposal unit was called in to make safe a suspected live device found by Luna the failed sniffer dog on Winterton beach on Sunday (April 24). - Credit: Stanley Stone

Mr Rose, 51, an electrical engineer for the offshore wind industry, said it was likely some of Luna's basic training kicked in after she trained as a sniffer dog with the services but failed the tests.

However, from what he could see, the device was only just below the surface and didn't take much effort to be excavated.

Luna the dog who dug up an unexploded device from the Second World War at Winterton

Luna the failed sniffer dog proved she had taken in some of her training when she sniffed out an unexploded bomb on the dunes at Winterton. - Credit: Steve Rose

He said he stayed with the device - likely a hand grenade or rifle grenade, army experts have said - for some time but eventually left the scene around a mile north of the village to go home for his tea.

Grenade found in dunes by dog at Winterton Norfolk

Luna the spaniel dug up a Second World War grenade at Winterton, much to her owner's horror. - Credit: Steve Rose

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It wasn't until several hours later the army bomb squad arrived and successfully detonated the wartime explosive.

The grenade was described as being about 8ins long and 2ins wide.

People on social media have been quick to praise Luna and her "wonder snout" hailing her for her great work and saying she deserved a special treat as a reward.

An MoD spokesperson said: “An Army team attended an incident in Winterton at the request of Norfolk Police. The team identified a 2” Mortar High Explosive that had failed to function. The item was a British weapon likely to be from the WW2 era and was safely destroyed via a controlled explosion. “

Earlier this month a dog sparked alarm after it was bitten by an adder in the dunes leading to warnings to be vigilant, especially in the warmer weather which encourages the snakes out into the open.

During the First World War the dunes saw practice trenches and a probable rifle range and then, in the Second World War, there was a minefield and military camp, as well as extensive defences.

Luna the dog who dug up a grenade on Winterton beach

Luna the springer spaniel had a lucky escape after digging up a grenade on Winterton beach and playing with it like a tennis ball. - Credit: Steve Rose

Unexploded grenade from Second World War dug up by dog at Winterton

Emergency services descended on the dunes at Winterton to deal with a hazard - a Second World War grenade dug up by family dog Luna. - Credit: Stanley Stone

Police cordon in place at Winterton

A large police cordon was put in place after an unexploded device from the Second World War was found by a family dog Luna at Winterton. - Credit: Steve Rose