Oban fishermen are quarantined after catching discarded bomb
FOUR men from an Oban fishing boat were quarantined after a Second World War unexploded bomb was caught in their fishing net, writes Louise Glen.
It is understood a discarded shell picked up by the Star of Annan OB50 detonated its chemicals, causing the men aboard ship to become ill.
The phosphorus bomb burst into flames last Tuesday and shortly afterwards the four crew mates felt unwell.
The chemicals and heat from the bomb aboard the 60ft vessel was so intense it turned metal white.
The boat docked in Oban and the four-man crew were driven to Lorn and Islands Hospital.
It is understood the men were admitted with chest and stomach pains and streaming eyes, and all were immediately placed in isolation.
The men were treated in quarantine before being transferred to the high dependency unit in Oban.
All four remained in hospital overnight, while two of the men were transferred to the Royal Alexandra Hospital at Paisley the following day as a precaution.
The fishermen were operating in the Beaufort Dyke Trench between Scotland and Northern Ireland last Monday (November 14).
Beaufort Dyke is a deep sea trench which lies between Scotland and Northern Ireland, and was one of the sites around the UK coast used extensively for unwanted munitions.
The trench is more than 50km long and 3.5km wide and is one of the largest dumps for small arms to high explosives.
In 1995, large numbers of incendiary devices were discovered along the coastline of the Firth of Clyde.
Research has shown fish and shellfish from this area have not been contaminated with pollutants such as phosphorus or mustard gas.
Skipper John Campbell said: ‘We are all fine and we are all back at sea.’