Coastguards Assist at Major Incident In Exeter
Coastguards from across the South West have been working throughout the weekend to assist in a major incident in Exeter.
At around 5pm on Friday (26th Feb) HM Coastguard received a call from Devon & Cornwall Police requesting assistance after a piece of WW2 ordnance was found in Glenthorne Road, Exeter.
Coastguard rescue officers and staff from across the South West were called in to help. All while ensuring that coastguard rescue teams could still respond to incidents around the coast.
The detonation of the suspected 1,000kg Hermann bomb by the Royal Logistics Corp ordnance disposal team, was planned for around 6pm on Saturday. This meant that 2600 properties, in a 400m radius of Glenthorne Road, including 1400 university students from the University of Exeter would need to be evacuated.
Coastguards from 11 coastguard rescue teams worked with staff and volunteers from other organisations to door knock and leaflet drop, to ensure that everyone knew they had to leave their homes by 8am on Saturday. They worked through the night and into the early hours of the morning, after resting they were back at first light continuing to evacuate the area before carrying out road closures and keeping the cordon secure into Sunday afternoon.
The bomb was detonated at 6:10 on Saturday evening and after supporting the police for over 45 hours this weekend, Coastguard staff and volunteers were stood down at 14:00 Sunday afternoon.
Drew Parkinson, Coastal Operations Area Commander for HM Coastguard said; ‘We are fortunate to have so many dedicated volunteers and staff within HM Coastguard who are willing to drop whatever they are doing at a moment’s notice to use their training and expertise to help those in need, be that at incidents around the coast or when our partner emergency services require assistance.
‘To all the officers who worked phenomenally hard this weekend, with over 1000 individual hours worked in Exeter alone – thank you.’