Bomb detonations a bust for spectators, WWII munitions destroyed off Indian River County shore

Not much to see from the beach

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. - It had all the ingredients for an exciting afternoon. Two World War II era bombs were going to be detonated off the Indian River County shoreline.

There were plenty of people with binoculars and telescopes, and some not dressed for the beach.  Their eyes focused a mile offshore from Round Island Park.

A naval explosive ordnance team would destroy a 1-thousand pound bomb and a 500-pound one that had recently been discovered by the Army Corps of Engineers in about 11-feet of water.

"The bombs were carried offshore about a mile off shore into about 30 feet of water.  They strapped some C-4 to it. Then from a cabled remote about a thousand feet away they detonated from a push button," said Assistant Chief Brian Brukeen with Indian River County Fire-Rescue.

The first bomb, the larger one, made barely a ripple from the shoreline.   Bob Ritzer and his wife were walking along the sand and saw something.

"We saw a white wave and then a few seconds later heard a sound," said Ritzer.

But since you couldn't see much of anything, some people decided to leave after the first bomb was a dud.

After another 30 minutes, the second bomb was discharged.  From the shoreline, you could see a small water spout in the distance.  It was hardly Old Faithful.

"It was kind of exciting waiting for it, but there was nothing to see here at the end," said Tim Swain who was visiting from Rochester.

"We're glad people were disappointed.  It means everybody was doing their job correctly and we thank them for it, said Asst. Chief Burkeen.

It had been more than 15 years since old WWII ordnance was destroyed off the Indian River County shoreline.


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