Naval mine washes ashore on South Florida beach

LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA, Fla. — A section of beach near Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Florida, was closed to the public for several hours Sunday morning after a naval mine, roughly 4 feet in diameter, washed ashore.

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office closed off the area to the public after a deputy on patrol found the “possible explosive training device” near a beach portal adjacent to the Plunge Beach Hotel at around 2:30 a.m., the Sun Sentinel reported.

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Naval mines are explosive devices typically used to damage surface ships or submarines.

The word “INERT” was painted on the mine’s side, but it remained unclear if the device had previously been used for military training or might have been live at one point, the Sun Sentinel reported.

The sheriff’s office bomb squad investigated the initial call, and the U.S. Air Force took possession of the device at around 10:45 a.m. to investigate the device further, WPLG reported.