History | October 11, 2022 6:00 am

Unexploded Grenades Wash Up on Oregon Beach

Their origin is unknown

Newport, Oregon
Aerial view of Newport, Oregon.
Jelson25, CC BY-SA 3.0

Located on the western coast of Oregon, Newport is known for its beaches, its aquarium and its numerous historic structures. Recently, however, the coastal town has become known for something a little more alarming — what appears to be an array of unexploded grenades that began washing ashore, and which necessitated the local police to send a warning to area residents.

Writing at The Guardian, Samira Asma-Sadeque has more details on this bizarre phenomenon. Three M116A1 grenades, their source unknown, are what came ashore. These are generally used for training purposes. Nonetheless, a simulator grenade is still capable of exploding — these have large warning labels to that effect — which explains why the authorities are approaching this with caution.

As The Guardian‘s article notes, local police have asked anyone who sees another grenade washed ashore to call the police and report its location.

Coastal Oregon isn’t the only place where explosives have washed up after many years. in August, Maryland’s Assateague Island National Seashore was briefly closed after munitions washed in with the tide. Ordnance dating back to World War II came ashore on several Scottish beaches earlier this year, which also prompted caution over the dangers it provided.

Beaches aren’t the only things to be adversely affected by underwater explosives. A plan to establish a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland drew concern from experts over the potentially dangerous objects found in the waters below. The situation in Oregon right now is much less fraught than that — but it remains concerning, with no small amount of mystery as well.