The Falkland Islands weekly Penguin News reported this week that elements of the Royal Falkland Islands Police, the Fire Service and the military were in action following the discovery of two unexploded munitions in separate locations around the capital Stanley.
It was later confirmed that the unexploded munitions, and neutralized, dated back to the time of the Argentine invasion of the Falklands. One of the many testimonies of the 1982 conflict which still remain in the Islands such as the minefields planted by the retreating invading forces.
At midday last Tuesday the police received a call from a member of the public who had discovered something suspicious on the road beyond Stanley airport, heading to the Cape Pembroke lighthouse.
Personnel from the military Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit (EOD) were called to the scene and were able to identify the object as a muzzle-propelled rifle grenade of Argentine manufacture.
With the Stanley Fire Brigade also in attendance, the device was made safe by means of sand bags and was detonated in a controlled manner at 4.10pm During the whole of this operation, the Cape Pembroke road had to be closed to the general public.
Normally this would be no great inconvenience, but as luck would have it, reports that whales were visible from Cape Pembroke on that day, had increased the number of the general public hoping to use it.
Sadly, their patience had to be extended further when a second suspicious object was reported by workmen from Morrisons Ltd, working near the Training Centre on Sapper Hill. This item when examined by EOD turned out to be an Argentine Anti-Aircraft round.
This second device was transported by EOD, under police escort, to the site of the earlier detonation on Cape Pembroke, where it was exploded at 6pm. Following this controlled action where, as in the previous case, a 200m safety perimeter was maintained, the would-be whale watchers were once again at liberty to use the road.
RFIP Sergeant Alex Douglas, who provided Penguin News with the details of these events, thanked the public for their patience on this occasion and praised the members of the community who had rung in to report their suspicions.
Despite the passage of 37 years, these types of devices are still around, still potentially dangerous and should be treated with extreme caution and reported.