Regular South Devon diver James Cunningham, 19, of Bishopsteignton, was on an evening dive with his uncle James Brown on Monday (9 July).

Expecting to see nothing more than marine life, he noticed the 2m-long rusty, barnacle-covered device while still some distance away.

It was lying on the seabed just north of the 200m-long pier and about 100m off the beach.

Cunningham, who has been diving since he was 13, said that he had at first thought the object was some kind of container, though on closer inspection its resemblance to an air-dropped bomb was clear.

After taking a bearing the pair surfaced, called the Coastguard and sent them photographs of the device, showing Cunningham hanging above it to indicate its scale.

The next morning the diver accompanied a Royal Navy Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team from Plymouth to point out the location.

Coastguard rescue teams attended the site and set up a 1000m exclusion zone around the device, extending this a further 500m inland.

The device was then moved further out to sea for safe disposal, and a controlled detonation was carried out shortly after 5pm, cheered by large crowds onshore.

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