University Boat Race to go ahead after unexploded bomb removed from Thames

Samuel Osborne
The ordinance was found near the boat race starting point: Getty Images

The annual Oxford-Cambridge boat races will go ahead after an unexploded World War II bomb found near the starting line was safely removed.

Police were called on Saturday after a member of the public spotted the shell in the River Thames near Putney Bridge, yards from the starting line.

Marine experts examined the submerged bomb and it was removed by specialist officers, Scotland Yard said.

Chief Inspector Tracy Stephenson said: “I’m very happy to update that the ordnance has now been safely removed and the race will be going ahead as planned.

“We have been working very closely with the organisers of the boat race to plan this event, which is eagerly awaited by spectators and supporters alike.”

Thousands of people are expected to line the banks of the Thames to watch the 163rd edition of the Boat Race 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.

A spokeswoman for the event said the race was only ever called off during the First World War and Second World War.

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