Burnham-On-Sea Coastguards were called out to investigate two objects washed up on the town’s beach on Saturday (June 6th).
The team headed to the beach south of the jetty just after 1pm after a member of the public raised the alarm.
“We were tasked by our Coastguard Operations Centre to investigate two barrels that had washed in with the morning tide,” said a Burnham-On-Sea Coastguard spokesman.
“Laying on the South Beach, just opposite our station we were able to locate them quickly. Two of our experienced team members were sent out to inspect the most accessible barrel, both are trained in Time Expired Pyrotechnics (TEP) just in case it was anything untoward. They also wore gloves and goggles just in case there were any chemicals that might be harmful.”
“As they approached it became clear that the barrel was empty and no harm to anyone. They carried it up the beach to the top of the sea steps for collection by the council.”
“The second barrel was further out in the mud and required a full mud set up. In the current climate of Covid-19 it was deemed not essential to recover. A full mud set up means that social distancing is lowered to get the techs and equipment set up.”
“For a rescue, that is acceptable, but for an empty barrel which we could see it was from our vantage point, the risk outweighs the reward. With this instruction, we packed up and headed back to the station where the truck and any equipment was decontaminated.”
“This was a good call as any items that wash up need investigating if they had contained anything harmful it could’ve hurt someone or the local environment.”