Seafront visitors have been warned strong winds this winter could bring a rise in "ordnance" incidents close to Southend's beaches.

Incidents of unexploded military ordnance can become more frequent for the Southend Coastguard team over the winter months as objects can be washed up or uncovered offshore or close to beaches due to the weather stirring up the seabed.

Further afield in the East of England region at the weekend, an unexploded bomb was discovered on a beach near Pakefield Holiday Park in East Suffolk after high tides and winds caused sections of cliff edges to collapse.

A Southend Coastguard spokesman said: "The Southend and Thames Estuary area was often used by bomber aircraft in the Second World War as a dumping ground for their bomb loads during the war if their primary target was not possible to hit on the way to and back from London with the Thames Estuary used as a navigation waypoint up into London City / London Docks.

"Anti aircraft sites were also dotted along our coastline, so anti aircraft shells are quite common.

"Also, coupled with a MOD base and testing range that has been based at Shoebury and Foulness for over 150 years, all types of unexploded military ordnance can and does wash up on the shore/offshore – it comes in different shapes and sizes and isn’t always easy to spot."

The coastguard has dealt with hundreds of incidents over the years in Southend with various types of explosive devices discovered, some of which the Army's bomb disposal squad have been called down to safely detonate.

in 2020, the squad was called twice in one week to suspected ordnance on Chalkwell Beach.


The spokesman added: "Because these items can be so dangerous, if you ever see something suspicious or out of the ordinary on the beach or in the sea, do not touch it, move it or take it home.

"If you are unsure, let the experts decide if it is safe. Move to a safe space and call 999 and ask for the coastguard so our teams can investigate."