A METAL detectorist scouring a beach found an unexploded live bomb stuck in the mud.

Police were called to West End Lane in Dovercourt after an unexploded bomb was found at nearby Earlhams beach at about 10.55am yesterday.

A spokesman for police said: “We were called with reports a mortar had been found in mud on the beach in West End Lane.

“A cordon was set up and the Ministry of Defence Explosive Ordnance Disposal carried out a controlled explosion.”

Tendring Police officers were first on the scene.

In a post on Facebook officers said: “A member of the public had an interesting find with their metal detector at Earlhams beach this morning in Dovercourt.

“On alerting the police officers attended the scene immediately and officers secured a safe perimeter cordon.

“A three inch mortar has since been detonated by the EOD under a controlled explosion.”

A bomb disposal team from Colchester Troop, 621 Squadron, 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment Royal Logistic Corps was called out to Dovercourt just after noon.

On inspection, it was found to be a 1950s vintage three inch mortar bomb which contained live explosives.

It was destroyed in a controlled explosion on the beach at approximately 2pm.

An Army spokesman said: “Destroying the mortar bomb was the safest thing to do in the circumstances as old ammunition can be quite unstable.

“We would encourage the public to raise the alarm if they do have concerns about any suspect items they find and not to touch them.

“It is better to be safe than sorry.”