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Newport Beach : The Catch of the Day? Live Ammo in the Shell

It may not be unusual for a fisherman to pull in a few shells with his catch, but the shells Dave Fehd found in his nets Sunday morning were the unexploded, military kind.

Fehd said he found the two rounds of ammunition as he was pulling in his catch of red snapper and sea trout off the Newport Beach pier. At first he was a bit amused and planned to hold on to the shells, which look like oversize bullets.

“When you pull something up, you usually keep it,” said Fehd, 27, who bought the Catch of the Day fishing business 3 months ago. But a fellow fisherman “didn’t think it was too safe, so I took them up to the lifeguard stand.”

Newport Beach police and lifeguard officials said it is not too unusual for military ordnance materials to wash ashore or be caught in nets, but that the materials must be handled carefully because they can be live ammunition. In the case of Fehd’s catch, the county sheriff’s bomb squad was called in to take the shells away.

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Eric Bauer, Newport Beach marine safety officer, said the military ammunition apparently comes from airplanes or boats. The shells snagged by Fehd were about 10 inches long, he said.

“I was playing with them,” Fehd said. “I didn’t know. I don’t have a gun, I never did, I never will, and it was like a souvenir. We catch a lot of stuff, but not every day do you get something like this.”

As for the rest of his catch Sunday--the kind that winds up on dinner plates--"I did pretty good,” Fehd said.


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