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Fishing bomb found at diving site

A potentially deadly fishing bomb was spotted by divers on the wreck of the Um El Faroud off the coast of Wied iż-Żurrieq on Sunday morning.

Ian Barbara, chairman of Calypso Subaqua Club, who was diving at the wreck and called the Bomb Disposal Unit, said: "About 10 of us were diving, including a few first-time divers. When we saw the bomb, we kept away from it and returned to the surface shortly after."

Such bombs are intended to go off underwater to kill as many fish as possible, making it easier for fishermen to pick them up from the surface.

An Armed Forces of Malta spokesman said when contacted that the effects of detonation would be far larger underwater. "If the bomb had gone off and a diver was in the area, it would have shattered his eardrums and killed him," he explained.

AFM ordnance explosive divers were called in to diffuse the device. The device was rendered safe and evidence handed over to Żurrieq district police for further investigations.

When asked about the impact an explosion would have had on the diving industry, Paul Sciberras, of DiveSystems, said: "Diving bases itself on safety and security and it would have been a disaster if the bomb had gone off, impacting heavily on the industry."

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