Patrick Space Force Base removes munitions from South Beach Park area


Update: Patrick Space Force Base crews removed the World War II-era military munitions from the South Beach Park area Thursday, sheriff’s officials said.

The base’s explosive ordnance disposal team removed two land mines without incident, according to the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office. The team will take the munitions back to the base for disposal.

Beachgoers found the ordnances about 8:30 a.m. near Porpoise Point Lane. The incident prompted the response of Patrick Space Force Base and the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad.

Some residents were briefly evacuated before being allowed back in their homes, sheriff’s officials said. Sheriff’s officials reminded residents who see suspicious items on the beach to call 911.

Military munitions have washed ashore throughout the years from Vero Beach down to Jensen Beach. The areas were known as the Fort Pierce Naval Amphibious Training Base, which the Navy used during World War II.

Army Corps of Engineers have conducted ongoing searches for the potentially dangerous items since 2014.

Earlier story:

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Residents found two World War II-era military munitions on the shore in the South Beach Park area Thursday morning, prompting a bomb squad to be called out, officials said.

No evacuations of the surrounding area – dotted with homes and beach dunes – were issued as of 10:30 a.m., Indian River County sheriff’s officials said. No injuries were reported, Indian River County Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Kyle Kofke said.

Details on if the devices were live were not immediately available.

Officials said beachgoers found the ordnances about 8:30 a.m. near Porpoise Point Lane.

The first munition, a mine, was found lying against a sea wall, sheriff’s officials said. Officials said a resident brought the second munition, a device cap, back by the roadway.

The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad went to the area to inspect the device, sheriff’s officials said. Patrick Space Force Base crews were also headed to the scene to remove the munitions.

Fire rescue crews and the sheriff’s office blocked off the area.

Photos provided by Indian River County Sheriff’s Office

This story will be updated.


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