A man has been caught throwing a grenade in a game of fetch with his dog, on a beach in Essex, completely unaware he was lobbing a decades-old explosive to his pet.
The man was spotted by an off-duty military explosives expert at Marine Parade in Harwich, casually tossing the unexploded grenade thought to be from the Second World War.
After the bomb expert halted play and set up a 30 yard cordon around the grenade, the police and coastguard were alerted, and it was removed by explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) officers.
It is reportedly the fifth grenade to be found in the area in as many weeks.
Essex Police confirmed a grenade had been found on Saturday on the beach near West End Lane and The Promenade, adding that three had also been found near Lower Marine Parade on 12 July. All had been detonated by EOD officers.
Police suspect the grenades are from a crate carrying WWII grenades out at sea, and have now warned beachgoers to take care.
Inspector Paul Butcher said: "It would appear that the grenades might have been in a crate that ended up in the sea during the Second World War.
"That crate might be breaking up or has been disturbed by dredging in the port and has resulted in these five devices being washed ashore along the same stretch of beach.
"We are asking people to be vigilant if visiting this beach and to dial 999 if they find any of these devices. Some of them have been covered in barnacles but the one yesterday looked almost as new despite being in the sea, possibly for many years.
"Anyone who finds a grenade should not touch it or move it but should call police immediately."