Family Unknowingly Played with a World War II Sea Mine That Had Washed Up On The Beach

By | December 8, 2016

Kelly Gravell and her family went to the beach and saw what they thought was an old, barnacle encrusted buoy that had washed up on the shore near Burry Port in Wales. Her children were fascinated by the huge metallic object with all the barnacles and seaweed stuck to it. They took pictures with it and played with it. Her kids even hit it with their hands. They then left, unaware that they had put themselves in danger.


A few days later, officials from Pembrey Country Park made an announcement that a World War II era sea mine had washed up on the beach. A friend of the family saw the pictures of their beach trip on Facebook and put two and two together.

Kelly and her husband were shocked to realize that they had been standing right beside a sea mine, and could have been killed at any second if it had gone off.


The Carmarthenshire County Council press officer, Allison Thomas David explained that it’s common for things to wash up on the beach, and she agreed that it did look like a buoy. The mine had to be secured and later the local bomb squad was brought in. They detonated it in a controlled explosion.

Hundreds of thousands of sea mines were deployed during World War ll, and after the war the US Navy were unable to collect all of them. Over thirteen thousand were deliberately left unswept, and over the course of 30 years, more than five hundred minesweepers were sunk or damaged severely trying to dispose of the mines that were left over.