Fisherman left shell-shocked after pulling 19 hand grenades out of a river while magnet fishing

·5-min read

A dad was left shell-shocked after he went magnet fishing for only the second time - and pulled out 19 GRENADES from a single river. 

Che Williams, 42, decided to visit the River Tame near Sutton Coldfield, West Mids., to try and find an old fishing lure he had lost there previously. 

But he was left stunned to discover a Second World War grenade - and then kept hauling out the military devices one after the other with his £15 magnet. 

Within half an hour, the dad-of-two was surrounded by 19 wartime grenades so he thought it "might be best" to contact the police as two still had pins in. 

Army bomb squads rushed to the scene on Saturday afternoon (19/12) and evacuated the area before an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team deemed they were safe.   

Che was amazed to uncover the huge stash of explosives on only his second magnet fishing trip after his first left him with a pair of scissors, a 5p coin and a wheel hub. 

The professional fisherman, of Coleshill, Warks., said: "When I found the first one, I thought 'what on earth is that?' I believed it was a door knob covered in dirt. 

"But then I had a closer look and thought 'bloody hell, that's a hand grenade'. I couldn't believe it. 

"I tossed it to one side, which might not have been the brightest idea, and kept looking because I thought there might be more treasure there. 

"Then I just kept pulling them up one after the other. They kept coming out from the same spot, grenade after grenade. 

"There was a real weight to them. I was absolutely buzzing. I got another 18 of them in about half an hour.

"One or two still had a pin in it but the others were hollowed out and I could see they weren't dangerous. 

"I still didn't want to drive home the cluster bombs in my car, so I put them in a carrier bag.

"It was only my second time out magnet fishing and I didn't know what to do with them. I posted on a Facebook group and asked what to do. 

"A chap replied saying I should call the police or I could end up getting myself blown up, so I thought it might be best to do so. 

"They were there in five minutes and didn't hang about. They were clearly rushing but the bomb squad x-rayed them and said they were safe. 

"They've said they are going to dispose of them and I won't be getting them back. 

"It's disappointing really because I was told they are from World War Two and I could get £150 for them. 

"A friend said to me the tin things are cluster grenades and the police said the rest are mill bombs. 

"I had been fishing for pike but didn't catch any, so I tried to find a lure I'd lost a while back with the magnet. 

"I would've preferred to find that lure to be honest because it cost me £20 and I didn't get the grenades back. 

"The first time I used my magnet in Leamington Spa I got a pair of scissors, a five pence and a two pence coin and a wheel hub. 

"I don't think I will ever find something like this again. I've heard of people finding one grenade - but not 19. 

"My mates say I'm lucky at catching fish and now I'm lucky at pulling up bombs."

A spokesman for Warwickshire Police said: "We were called to Lee Marston Lakes on Coton Road in Sutton Coldfield shortly after 12.30pm on Saturday following a report of a number of suspicious devices.

"A cordon was put in place and the EOD [Explosive Ordnance Disposal] attended. The incident was safely resolved and the road was reopened by 3pm."

Atherstone and Coleshill Police also shared details of the incident on Facebook and warned members of the public to be careful while magnet fishing. 

They wrote: "We are aware that there has been an increase in people magnet fishing in and around the area. 

"In the main it may be just the odd shopping trolley or rusty bike that is found, however, on occasions, the find might be a little more interesting….and dangerous!

"The local Safer Neighbourhood team were called to a location after a member of the public called to say that they had recovered a number of grenades from a stretch of water. 

"This usually means that someone has found what they think is a grenade and it's all quite innocent….not in this case.

"19 Mills bombs or grenades were fished out of the water and put in a bag….2 of these still had the pins in!

"The area was of course cordoned off and the nearby road was closed and the experts were called in. 

"Thankfully they were all deemed safe and the ones with the pins still in place were X-rayed and found to contain no explosives or detonator. 

"They have been taken away and will be disposed of.

"Please be mindful about what you are bringing out of the water. Items might have been in there for years and could be dangerous when brought out and onto dry land."