CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (WNCT) – Base officials at Camp Lejeune want to warn the public of the dangers at Browns Island.
While out on your boat, the island might look like a good spot to stop and relax, but there’s a chance you could come across an unexploded ordinance and put yourself at risk.
“Browns Island is a target area that Camp LeJeune Marines and other services have been shooting at or dropping bombs on since 1942,” said Camp Lejeune Range Patrol Officer Nick Klaus.
What may look like a rusty piece of metal in the sand, could actually be an explosive device.
“The 500-pound bomb was used on everything from buildings to tanks, any sort of heavily fortified structure. So it would be a very large boom,” said MSGT Daniel Murtaugh, Explosive Ordnance Disposal chief.
The base demonstrated how they detonate some of the duds found on the island.
“Not less than a week ago, we found a 500-pound bomb that was on the shore exposed by the tide,” said Klaus.
Periodically throughout the year, the base conducts sweeps for unexploded ordinances or UXOs. Almost every time they search, they find something they need to dispose of.
“When you have a big high tidal surge associated with a hurricane or a large tropical storm, that will wash out the beach, but also expose unexploded bombs that have been dropped there over the years,” added Klaus.
People are encouraged to avoid beaching on Browns Island or disturbing the bottom of the water nearby.
“These munitions could have moved from the island into the water or they may have been in the water initially. And again, if it gets disturbed by your anchor or whatever, it doesn’t matter if it’s underwater or not. It can still explode,” said Klaus.
It is a $5,000 fine for trespassing and could result in up to 6 months in jail.