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RNLI lifeguards discover old mortar bomb on Murlough Beach

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI lifeguards created an exclusion zone up to 300m on Murlough Beach on Monday afternoon (1 August) following the discovery of an old mortar bomb.

Senior lifeguard Peter Kinkaid and lifeguard Tommy Murphy were moving the RNLI’s red and yellow flags at approximately 2.30pm when they discovered what they believed to be an old bomb a short distance from the water’s edge between the flags which are used to mark the safest area to swim.

Peter took a photograph of the item and sent it to the local Coastguard unit who shared his view that the object might be an old mortar bomb. The PSNI and the bomb disposal unit were subsequently contacted.

Peter, Tommy and fellow lifeguard Sean McConvey red flagged the relatively quiet area at 3.15pm, before continuing to maintain patrol of the rest of the beach working to keep the small number of visitors away from the area concerned.

On arrival the bomb disposal unit carried out a controlled explosion at 5.20pm before the red and yellow flags were put out again at 5.30pm with normal patrol resuming.

Speaking following the incident, Jason Nugent, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor said: ‘There have been a number of similar discoveries in recent times with the lifeguards dealing with mortar bomb finds on the beach last summer also. The beach was relatively quiet at the time of this discovery but throughout the operation, the lifeguards maintained patrol of the remainder of the beach and worked to assist and reassure people visiting.

‘While this is nothing to be alarmed about, we would encourage any visitors who may come across any unusual items while on the beach to let us know so we can notify the relevant authorities who can deal with it.’


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For more information please telephone Liam Mullan, RNLI Lifeguard Press Officer at or contact Nuala McAloon, RNLI Press Officer on 0876483547, email or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager Ireland on 00 353 87 1254 124, email

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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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