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In a startling turn of events, a family narrowly averted disaster after unknowingly posing for photographs next to an unexploded World War II mine, initially mistaken for a harmless buoy. Kelly Gravell, accompanied by her two children, stumbled upon the seaweed-covered object on a beach near Burry Port, Carmarthenshire, last Wednesday.

The 32-year-old mother was left astonished when the beach, frequented by her family, was abruptly closed five days later. Carmarthenshire Council rangers identified the object as a 70-year-old bomb and promptly called in the bomb squad to neutralize the potential threat.

Photo Credit: Gareth Gravell/Facebook

Dramatic footage captured a significant explosion on the far side of the harbor after experts carried out a controlled detonation.


Gareth, the father, took to Twitter to express his surprise, sharing images of Erin, six, and Ellis, four, playfully interacting with the disguised explosive. His tweet humorously noted, “So the buoy my kids were jumping on all weekend turns out to be a WWII bomb. Oops.”

Ms. Gravell recounted that during their beach outing, they were more engrossed in the barnacles on the object than its true nature. With the tide up, the family had unintentionally stumbled upon the historic bomb, humorously dismissing it as a buoy. Even a light-hearted comment about it being a “big bomb” was made at the time without a second thought.

Photo Credit: Kelly Gravell/Facebook


Reflecting on the incident, Ms. Gravell remarked, “We were close to disaster – it’s shocking.” The couple, who run a waste management firm, expressed their intent to return to the beach, emphasizing that while they wouldn’t be overly concerned, they would exercise increased caution.

Ms. Gravell stated, “I wouldn’t be worried about going back, but we will definitely be more cautious when we do. We’ll definitely think twice before messing with something like that in the future, and we went down for a look to see it get blown up.”

Councillor Meryl Gravell, executive board member for leisure at Carmarthenshire Council, assured the public that appropriate action had been taken to address the situation. Despite any inconvenience caused by the temporary beach closure, she extended apologies to the public.


The family’s unwitting encounter with the unexploded bomb serves as a stark reminder of the hidden dangers that remnants of wartime history can pose, even in seemingly serene coastal settings. The incident underscores the importance of vigilance and caution when exploring unfamiliar objects on the beach, as the potential risks might not always be apparent at first glance.


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