WWII bombs found off Indian River County, disposal set for Tuesday

A few homes were evacuated as precaution

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. - Tuesday, the Navy and a host of other agencies will be back off the coastline to make sure residents and beachgoers stay safe.  That's after they moved one of two bombs discovered in the ocean Monday.

Just before Christmas, a helicopter working with the Army Corps of Engineers spotted some metal in about 11-feet of water offshore from Round Island Park in Indian River County.  It turned out to be two bombs.

"The first one is a thousand pounder.  It's sitting horizontal on the floor.  The other one is a 500 pounder and it's nose first into a reef," said Assistant Chief Brian Burkeen with Indian River County Fire-Rescue.

The bombs were placed during WWII for amphibious training so the military could develop ways to get past beach fortifications.

It's not known if they're still explosive.

"Worst case scenario is they're live bombs and the Navy Explosive Ordnance disposal unit is on scene," said Asst. Chief Burkeen.

The Navy, and Florida Fish and Wildlife, kept boaters away from the area throughout the afternoon as the bigger bomb was brought to the surface.

As a safety precaution, the Indian River County Sheriff's Office evacuated a few people who live along the ocean just north of where the ordnance was found because, in a worst case scenario, they would be in the blast zone.

Jenni Gillis was a bit surprised to hear what was happening, but not scared.

"I just moved here so it's interesting.  I'm not concerned," Gillis added.

Back at the beach, anglers were more concerned about the catch of the day than reeling in an explosive.

"I'm not concerned.  It's no big deal.  It's almost entertaining," said David Palumbo.

As for the second bomb, it was taken out of the reef and is sitting on the ocean floor.

It will be floated and moved farther out to sea in the morning with detonation for the two bombs scheduled to happen around 1 o'clock.

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