Narragansett fishing boat reels in undetonated explosive

NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WLNE)– A small fishing boat trolling for bait off Block Island reeled in its most dangerous catch Tuesday morning.

The Ocean State, the vessel out of Narragansett, caught an undetonated explosive planted miles off the New Shoreham shores to protect the island during WWII.

Glenn Westcott, the boat’s captain, said Tuesday began as a normal morning alongside his son and nephew, until one haul was different.

“There was something in the net and it dropped down, bumped on the stern, which is scary now considering it,” said Westcott. “We packed it all in and left it alone.”

The Coast Guard escorted the crew off the boat for the day. The depth charge was left on the Ocean State overnight, until it was moved with the help of the crew to the naval bomb squad.

Westcott explained, “We picked it up with our net drum. We just inched it up, let it go aft, inched it up let it go aft more, didn’t hit anything. We just put it down on the wooden ramp.”

The bomb squad strapped C-4 to the roughly 250-pound explosive. They created a perimeter around the floating device and detonated the depth charge.

Westcott says although lucky, he wishes he could have seen the ending.

He concluded, “It was foggy, and it was raining… I couldn’t see anything, and you know, after all I had just gone through, I just wanted to see the damn thing blow up.”

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