A 16-year-old British boy found more than he expected after discovering a suspected Irish Republic Army (IRA) stash of 40 weapons.
James Cork, of Somerset, England, made the discovery while out magnet fishing, a hobby he had taken up six months ago, in Greylake on the Somerset Levels, according to the Daily Mail.
That’s when he and a friend suddenly stumbled upon a 40-strong haul of weapons, which an expert suspects may have belonged to the IRA and could have been dumped when they were meant to be declaring their arms in 2001.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Cork said:
"I was shocked. I’ve never found anything like this before. There were a few whole weapons, but not many. Some were machine guns, pistols and revolvers. And there was a massive machine gun on a stand.”
Among the deadly weapons were parts of a Nazi MG42 light machine gun, which has a 660m killing range, and a Czech SA23 9mm submachine gun.
Cork and his friend threw a majority of the guns back into the water, but took a 1930s Smith & Wesson .38 home to play with. When his mother, Katherine, saw him playing with the gun, she immediately contacted the police. The next day, officers recovered the rest of the arsenal from the water.
“None of the weapons were complete, and they were extremely rusty and very old,” a spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said. “All of the weapon parts have been or are being destroyed.”
According to Andy McNab, a former SAS sergeant and author who served in Northern Ireland during 1979, the weapons could have been used by the IRA during “The Troubles.”
"This must be a terrorist bundle,” he said. “That’s because there are weapons for various ranges — from close assassination ones to the Browning that could take out a helicopter or Land Rover."