Young fisherman Mason Tabarn’s catch of the day sparked a tense stand-off involving the Bomb Squad and police.
The 12-year-old hooked an unexploded First World War hand grenade (right) from a river under the busy A59 at Tarleton.
And officers had to stand guard on it overnight before disposal experts could blow it up at dawn in a local park.
“It was quite a blast when they detonated it,” said Mason’s mum Debbie at home in Merlcrest Drive, Tarleton.
“I dread to think what damage it would have done had it gone off under the bridge. It could have blown a big hole in the main road.”
Mason was magnet fishing for metal in the River Douglas, underneath Bank Bridge which carries the main Preston to Southport road.
Debbie takes up the story: “He brought it home in a doggie poo bag and came in waving it around. When we looked at it we thought it looked like a grenade, so we called the police and they brought in the Bomb Squad.
“It was put in a box and taken to Carr Lane Park where the police had to stand guard on it all night before it could be blown up at first light. Apparently lots of unused ammunition was dumped in rivers and canals after both world wars. Goodness knows what else is down there under Bank Bridge.”
Mason, who attends Tarleton Academy, has landed a variety of metal objects from the Douglas using a powerful magnet on a fishing line.
A police spokesman said: “We got a call at 6.40pm on Thursday to reports that a grenade had been found. It has been safely detonated.”