March 10, 2016 - 2:30 PM
VERNON - National Defence made a rare visit to Sicamous earlier this week to pick up an old military tank shell found in a ditch.
The 120 mm practice projectile — which would have been used in tank maneuvers — was discovered by someone cleaning up a ditch on Hallfish Road Tuesday, March 8.
RCMP notified the Royal Canadian Navy Ordnance Disposal Unit, which removed the projectile and disposed of it at the Department of National Defence grounds in Vernon.
“We used an explosive charge essentially to obliterate the round. This is common practice for disposing of ordnance,” Lieutenant-Commander Chad Naefken says.
He says the unit doesn’t get dispatched to Sicamous often, but receives a fair number of calls in nearby Vernon, due to the history of military activity in that area.
Vernon was heavily used for training exercises in the 1940s, and ordnance have shown up in Kalamalka Lake, Cosens Bay, and on the Okanagan Indian Band reserve. Unexploded ordnance have killed eight people in the Vernon area over the years, including a pair of boy scouts in 1963.
Over 100 military ordnances are found and disposed of every year around B.C. by the ordnance disposal unit, Naefken says.
How the projectile ended up in a rural ditch remains a mystery, and RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk says they would like to hear from anyone who knows its origins.
“We understand members of the public could be in possession of collectible war memorabilia and be unsure of how to dispose of them, however this was not the right way,” Moskaluk says.
If you have any information on this incident, contact the Sicamous RCMP at 250-836-2878.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016