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Magnet fishing

Article about: Hi Fancied trying out some magnet fishing but where to start??? Lots of battle sites here in Eastern Germany but also lots of rivers and lakes in the middle of these sites. Any suggestions o

  1. #91

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    Mark,

    Thank you for your post. You are 100% correct and your points bear out my argument that licencing and control is needed. I'm afraid that metal detecting is seen as an alternative occupation, (as opposed to real work) and unfortunately attracts a type of person that the fellow with the grenades could be a poster boy for.

    There was an incident a few years ago when two nuggets were detecting and digging into the side of a Barrow, (earth burial mound). As this was a scheduled ancient monument this was illegal but not a care to these geniuses. However the fact that someone else dug here in the 1940's the Home Guard was important and when they put a shovel through a SIP Grenade, (No 76 Gren) it definitely got their attention. Minor injuries only and a nice day out for the team with something fun to deal with, however you can only hope that some kind of lesson was learned. I attended a meeting of the National Council for Metal Detecting to speak and after their complete refusal to believe that any occurrences had happened I related this one to a stunned and silent audience. When told them that I had at least half a dozen other examples they acknowledged the problem existed but refused to change their attitudes. However they did say that it would be included in their guidelines and I wrote an instruction for their inclusion however I note that after 15 years in their guidelines under Bombs, Bones and Burials the advice is "Coming Soon", so 15+ years and they still have not bothered!

    As I said before Magnet Fishing is the latest incarnation and unfortunately it will take someone to be seriously hurt or die before anything is done.

    Several people have tried to say that the branding of these people as 'of a certain type' is wrong but continually they seem to be trying to prove the point that you can!

    I'd like to say rant over but I'm afraid it's not. Not until this is stopped or modified to a point of being safe which I cannot see!

    R
    Illigitimus Nil Carborundum Est

  2. #92

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    I don't see how licencing or any other form of control will stop incidents like this from happening in the future. Even to someone aware of the dangers of explosives, you are not going to know what you have found until you have dragged it clear of the water, or have dug it up from the ground. The only legislation that might work would be a total ban of both activities, and I can't see that happening. That aside, ordnance collectors making a purchase at arms fairs do so without really knowing if their latest purchase is really FFE, they just blithely take the dealers word for it that they are safe. The sale of deactivated weapons and ordnance has produced a whole new generation of collectors of whom some (not all) have become so accustomed to handling this stuff that they think they they are some kind of expert on the subject, and safe handling goes out of the window. I am truly horrified at times, to see the way people handle guns at arms fairs and public displays. I once had to step in and snatch an old spec deactivated M2 carbine off a young boy before he hurt his fingers after cocking the gun and was about to shove his fingers in the magazine. The reenactor who handed him the weapon seemed to be totally ignorant of what could have happened if the bolt had shot forward.

    Cheers,
    Steve
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.... 'A Salford Pal: Pte Thomas Jay.'

  3. #93

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    Steve,

    Quite right. I was being nice saying licencing or control, ban is the only truly safe answer but as you point out if you even suggest that they whine like a 747 on take off. As for FFE, it has been looked into and debated in the Home Office and the conclusion was if it becomes an issue and in the public interest then something will be done.

    A while ago I was having my birthday present at work which was a Sterling SMG and box of 50 Rnds, (what a lovely blast from the past). After I had played another serving WO was having a go and was shocked, (but carried out the correct drill) when I shouted 'STOP' His left pinkey was behind the stop and in the way of the bolt, with a full mag! All those 'Old and Bold' will understand the implications of this error but for those who sadly missed out on the Sterling, you lose your finger end!

    R
    Illigitimus Nil Carborundum Est!

  4. #94

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    I don't honestly believe that any "Powers that be" have any interest at all in the regulation or control of such stupidity...
    It's easier to uncover networks and markets if you let the unimportant factors run around and blow their Fingers off. The market for FFE Munition is thoroughly under nourished so noones going to Stop the idiots that claim to be cleaning up rivers when there's other types hiding amongst them.

    Slightly more disturbing though:
    A retailer and a scrap merchant have now decided to sponsor a Magnet fishing "Club" in southern Germany and their best Idea as to what one should do with 15 free complete sets is to organise A KIDS DAY!!!
    AND THE COUNCIL GAVE THEM A PERMIT FOR IT

  5. #95

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    Lets keep everyone safe... ban magnet fishing and metal detecting to stop fruitcakes uncovering ordnance. And while we are at it, ban aircraft wreck hunters from going on digs. Stop scuba divers exploring sunken naval ships in case they set of the dangerously unstable ordnance. Then lets go a step further and get the lads from EOD to sweep every patch of land - wherever it might be - before construction work is allowed to take place. A few years after Burtonwood airbase was flattened and building started on Chapelford urban village, the contractors were turning up all kinds of munitions and weapons, and the whole lot was tossed to one side for the experts to deal with. I dare say that even more is lying around waiting to be discovered too. When I first moved next to the base in 1977, there were young kids coming back on my estate with handfuls of live ammunition that they had found in a mound of earth close to the Liverpool to Manchester railway. This kind of thing happens all the time, and people do unfortunately get hurt or killed. A friend of mine used to do guided tours on the Somme, and a French friend of his was unfortunate enough to trip over a broken shell that still had residual explosives, and he lost a leg in the resulting explosion. Farmers have lost their lives when their ploughs have detonated shells lying just below the surface. So maybe that's another thing we should add to our 'ban' list... people walking the battlefields or trying to scratching a living from them by growing crops. Stopping people from magnet fishing will solve absolutely nothing.
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.... 'A Salford Pal: Pte Thomas Jay.'

  6. #96

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    Steve,
    Have you got a Drivers license??
    Are you old enough to smoke and buy alcohol??
    It's not about taking away peoples rights, it's about reducing the risk for third Parties. And yes in many European countries there already exists a Policy of Clearance on high risk properties before they are developed

  7. #97

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    Steve,

    " ban aircraft wreck hunters from going on digs. Stop scuba divers exploring sunken naval ships in case they set of the dangerously unstable ordnance. " My opinion of archaeology by JCB is lower than a snakes belly in a wheel rut. Yes I have been part of protecting wrecks from looters who believe that stripping war graves is acceptable, and yes they do bring up Ordnance. before you ask the Richard Montgomery in the Thames is perfectly safe as it is. I would spend my pension building a house as close to it as possible and live there happily!

    As for EOD clearing the whole country, no not feasible but when ever a pocket of Ordnance comes to light we do send in a clearance team. Clearance teams work constantly within UK and any highly polluted areas are cleared.

    I have worked with the démineurs de la Sécurité civile on the Somme for a couple of months and still have close ties with them. The law there is as a farmer you leave Ordnance Munitions and Explosives, (OME) at the corner of the field by the road and we collect it as we pass. If it is anything problematic then we go out specifically to deal with it. If you are visiting then if you remove an item you are open to prosecution and possible imprisonment. Whilst tripping over a shell and causing it to function is possible but highly unlikely and about as likely as being struck by lightening.

    I have actually seen a tractor function a shell whilst ploughing , (probably a German 150mm) in Ypres near Forwards Cottage. The farmer suffered a bit of tinnitus as he had ear defenders on but the armoured plate built in to the tractor, (that is law there) protected him completely. The Government replaced the tractor and plough with a matter of days at no cost. As that was the second time in less than 3 months I suggest that he was good with the paperwork though. So banning agriculture on WW1 battlefields, NO just take the correct precautions. If you wish more examples of people going about normal life in the most heavily contaminated area in the world I have loads, but all involve following the law and set down requirements.

    All in all, every point you made has been covered, considered and mitigated to an acceptable level except the needless Magnet Fishing being conducted one and Metal detecting not being regulated. If is is necessary to clear a waterway then it should be done professionally, (another job possibility with training). Ammunition in the ground generally degrades to nothing eventually. However in the period between arriving there and that state it does become far far more dangerous. If left alone it is not a problem, the trouble occurs with the addition of an idiot.

    R
    Illigitimus Nil Carborundum Est !

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