Boat Race 2017: Suspected World War Two bomb at Putney Bridge sparks concern over Oxford-Cambridge clash

Fiona Simpson
Putney Bridge: Police have discovered a WW2 bomb on the Boat Race route: Twitter/Adrian Bridgwater

The discovery of a suspected World War Two bomb in the Thames has sparked concerns that the 163rd Boat Race will not go ahead.

Scotland Yard confirmed what is believed to be an unexploded device was discovered on the banks of the river close to Putney Bridge on Saturday.

However, because the suspected shell is submerged no action can be taken to remove it until the tide changes around 1pm on Sunday, police said.

A Met Police spokesman told the Standard that Oxford v Cambridge race organisers had been informed.

He added that no decision would be made on whether the race would go ahead or if planned viewing areas would be forced to be moved until the day of the iconic annual event.

A statement issued by the Force read: “Police were called at approximately 1.50pm on Saturday to the Chelsea shoreline by Putney Bridge, following reports of the discovery of what is believed to be World War Two ordnance.

“Officers including the Marine Policing Unit are in attendance.”

Race director Michelle Dite said: "At this stage the races will go ahead as planned," the BBC reported.

"Any decisions regarding changes to the event will be made in conjunction with the police.

"No decision will be made today."

Thousands of people are expected to line the banks of the Thames to watch the clash 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.

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