A family took photos with a washed-up buoy that turned out to be an unexploded World War II mine.
Kelly Gravell and her husband and two children were enjoying a beach day near Burry Port, Wales, when when they came across an object in the sand.
It was large, circular and metallic, so the family assumed it was a buoy.
“We were more fascinated by the barnacles on it,” Gravell explained.
The family of four took pictures with the huge metal ball, and Gravell’s 4-year-old son even apparently touched it and knocked on it a little bit, ABC News reported.
Never did the thought of a real bomb cross the family’s minds, but five days later, Pembrey Country Park officials announced that a U.S. military mine had been discovered on the seashore.
A friend of the family had seen Gravell’s beach photos on Facebook and quickly made the connection that the buoy the family had posed with was the same object.
When Gravell and her husband heard the news, they were shocked.
“I even made the joke that it was a big bomb at the time, but did not think anything of it. It’s only afterwards when the reality had set in that we were actually very lucky,” Gravell told the Daily Mail.
Allison Thomas-David, the press officer for Carmarthenshire County Council explained that it is common for random objects to wash up on the beach.
She agreed that the bomb indeed looked like a buoy, but underneath all the barnacles were telltale markings.
The object reportedly dates back to World War II, but details of what is printed on it is still uncertain.
On Aug. 17 at 6 p.m., a bomb squad evacuated the beach and detonated the mine with a controlled explosion.
Gravell and her family watched the bomb get blown up safely.
“We’ll definitely think twice before messing with something like that in the future,” Gravell said.
The beach where the bomb was found is temporarily closed.