The Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office along with the United States Air Force 436th Civil Engineer Squadron – Emergency Ordnance Disposal team based out of Dover Air Force Base, responded to Assateague Island National Seashore shortly after 1:00 PM on Tuesday for multiple (3) suspected military ordnance that washed ashore in an area known as North Ocean Beach. This is the second incident of military ordnance washing ashore at Assateauge in as many weeks.
National Park Service Rangers reported the suspicious devices which triggered the response of the Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office and EOD teams to investigate. EOD technicians determined the ordnance which had been in the ocean for an unknown amount of time needed to be rendered safe in place.
In addition to Tuesday’s cache, additional ordnance which was previously recovered by Rangers was also rendered safe again on Wednesday in an unoccupied area north of the Maryland State Park.
As previously noted, from 1944 to 1947, during World War II, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army Corps used the Maryland portion of Assateague Island as a bombing and strafing range. Air crews would from Chincoteague, VA and Manteo, NC would fire practice rockets, bombs and machine guns from the air at targets on the ground.
While not normally a frequent occasion, if a member of the public observes any suspicious metal devices washing up on local beaches, they should immediately report it to the local authorities for further investigation.
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