Bomb squad officers were called to the Laguna Beach shore to help with the removal of what was reported as a potentially explosive device.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department bomb squad was called Tuesday after Laguna Beach police and lifeguards responded to a call just before 5 p.m. at Thalia Street Beach.
Authorities found a cylindrical canister that prompted officials to close the beach, the Police Department said Friday. The bomb squad removed the device for proper disposal, police said. It’s unclear how long the beach was closed.
The device was identified as a marine location marker, police said.
Such devices aren’t actually a rare sight, according to the bomb squad.
“Marine location markers ... have a habit of washing ashore during stormy weather,” a statement on social media said Friday.
The agency removed three of the military devices from south Orange County beaches this week after heavy rains and high tides. The two other markers washed up in San Clemente, the Sheriff's Department said.
According to manufacturers of similar devices, a location marker is a buoyant metal cylinder that is released from helicopters or other aircraft to help indicate a position in the water. The water-activated markers can emit smoke, flame or fluorescent dye and provide a high-visibility signal lasting 10 minutes to more than two hours, depending on the device.
Such a device is potentially hazardous because an observer may not be able to tell whether it is fully expended.
“Handling or disturbing them has the potential to reignite the item and cause injury or fire,” the bomb squad said.
The markers commonly have warnings that state “Do not handle.”
“If you encounter this type of marker, or any other beached military ordnance item, please do not pick them up or disturb them in any way. Give them plenty of space and contact your local public safety agency, which will in turn coordinate a bomb squad response,” the agency said.