Warheads found on local beaches

Nearly one dozen containers for military warheads washed up on beaches in Laguna Beach and Newport Beach last week, according to the Orange County Sheriff Department.

Cylinders marked with "warhead, 2.75 inch, practice" came ashore at Bluebird Beach, Shaw's Cove and Cress Street Beach on Nov. 24, Laguna Beach Police Sgt. Louise Callus said. Wooden boxes that the cylinders were evidently packed in also were found by people out for a morning stroll on the beach.

The warheads were also found at locations in Newport Beach, according to the Sheriff's Department.

The Sheriff's Department Bomb Squad was called to detonate the devices, which were determined to be inert. The department issued a special bulletin Nov. 24 to local police agencies alerting them of the ordnance discoveries.

"Several wood boxes have washed up on the shoreline containing cylinders (four in each box) with markings on them indicating they contain 2.75-inch U.S. Military practice rocket warheads," the bulletin stated. "It is believed these boxes were unintentionally deposited into the ocean during recent military exercise.

"At this time no actual warheads have been located. However, as with all military ordnance calls, caution should be exercised when responding to these incidents as should these cylinders have warheads they may contain an explosive 'spotting charge' that can be hazardous.

"As a reminder to responding officers, these items should be left in place and not handled, moved, or opened," the bulletin stated.

The first finding of three cylinders was reported at Bluebird Beach at 6:45 a.m. These were followed by a finding of three or four warheads at Shaw's Cove at 7:10 a.m. and three or four at Cress Street Beach at 7:53 a.m., Callus said. No injuries were reported as a result of the findings.

"The Orange County Bomb squad came out and picked them all up," Callus said. "If others are found, they should not be picked up or moved."

The Police Department should be notified if weapons are found.

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