A fisherman in a quiet, coastal Maine community recently made an explosive discovery.
Investigators say the fisherman caught a military ballistic projectile in his gear, brought it on board, and left it on the Bailey Island Lobster Wharf in Harpswell for 24 hours. According to authorities, the owner of the wharf discovered the device that read “live ammunition” and called 911.
A state police bomb squad, in coordination with the U.S. Navy, took the projectile to a nearby sand pit and detonated it Monday afternoon.
One day later, the dust has settled but the details are still murky. Cumberland County Sheriff Captain Scott Stewart said the explosive is believed to belong the U.S. Navy. He suspects it came from a training exercise at the old Brunswick base, but said the Navy is not releasing information about its origin.
Investigators are not releasing the name of the fisherman who caught the projectile, and say no crime was committed. They do advise anyone in a similar situation to call the Coast Guard immediately, instead of bringing it on board and leaving it at a dock.
“It was a little shocking,” said Harpswell Harbormaster Paul Plumme, who saw the warhead on the wharf Monday and worked with first responders to clear the scene.
Plumme said the fisherman wasn’t sure what he had tangled in his gear, and thought it could have been an engine part.
“It was covered in mud,” said Plummer. “Once they started clearing it off, they then realized that they may be dealing with something a little more serious.”
While locals say they know the name of the fisherman, they don’t want his identity to surface. All the Harbormaster said was that his vessel was named “Trouble Maker.”