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Concerns raised over magnet fishing at Marlow bridge

Police have spoken to anglers who have pulled wartime ordnance from the River Thames after ‘magnet fishing’ in Marlow.

The news comes after a rise in ‘historic ordnance’ being found in the water, with Marlow Bridge closed twice in three days in mid-April following the activity.

The police and bomb disposal units have had to step in each time.

The first incidents occurred on Wednesday, April 17 and Saturday, April 20, when Marlow Bridge was closed to the public, with weapons including a grenade fished from the water.

Police were also called out to a separate incident on Saturday, May 4, after more wartime explosives were discovered by magnet fishermen.

A short closure was also put in place on the bridge in the early hours of Tuesday.

No one was harmed in any of the incidents.

The controversial hobby involves using a magnet to attract heavy metal objects from under the water.

Cllr Alex Collingwood (Con, Marlow) said he has no problem with magnet fishing but that people should find somewhere different to carry it out.

“It might be an idea going forward that [people] be aware of that stretch between the park and the bridge,” he said.

“The amount of disruption it has caused is quite amazing.

“I have no problem with people magnet fishing, but I think it might be helpful that, now they know that there has been two or three incidents, they maybe look to go and fish at a different location.”

Thames Valley Police said in a statement: “We are aware that there have been a number of incidents where magnet fishermen have pulled up historic ordnance in and around the Marlow Bridge area.  

“Officers have spoken to the fishermen and they confirmed they did not intend to pull up the ordnance and were looking for historical items related to boating.

“The fishermen have confirmed that they do not intend to return to the area.  We have informed the relevant authorities who manage the waterways to further monitor the situation.”

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