Beach Blanket Boom-Boom

May 16, 2007

Break out the Coppertone and start waxing down those surfboards, good citizens of Surf City, N.J. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the beach has been cleared of those pesky unexploded munitions that arrived during the last beach-replenishment project.

There’s just a couple of points to bear in mind when you’re looking for a spot to jam that beach-umbrella pole into:

As an added precaution, the Corps will ask local governments to prohibit digging deeper than 12 inches on the beach, and to ban the use of metal detectors this summer in those two communities.

“They (the munitions) do have explosives in them,” Watson said. “If you apply the right kind of conditions to them, they could go off. It only takes one, and we don’t want that.”

Hmmmmm. Well . . . okay, I guess we won’t be digging any big sandcastles during a visit to Surf City. 

And whatever you do, be sure to use the correct terminology when talking about those World War I souvenirs beneath the sand:

Watson said what authorities originally referred to as unexploded ordnance is actually not.

“Unexploded ordnance is something that has been fired and is waiting to explode,” he said. “This is not. Discarded military munitions are things that were taken out, and as the name suggested, dumped.

“They are less likely to go off, but they do contain high explosives,” he said.

Okay, I got it, it’s locked, I’m outta here.

Say, how about a nice trip to the mountains this summer?

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