ORLEANS — A Rock Harbor fisherman got a surprise when he hauled up his dredge late Wednesday morning and discovered two pieces of unexploded ammunition.
The fisherman hauled the items aboard and brought them to shore, leaving them on the dock a short distance from the fuel pumps. The man called the harbormaster, who, in turn, notified firefighters and police. The two rusty objects included a small cylindrical shell around eight inches in length, and a larger tube with a conical end, about six feet long.
The items were examined by a technician from the Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad who responded from Weston, Mass., and later by U.S. Navy explosive ordnance disposal experts from Rhode Island. The objects were taken to the beach and destroyed by controlled detonation. Officials say they were likely shells fired by the military as part of training missions bombing the target ship that was anchored off Eastham for many years. The Liberty Ship S.S. James Longstreet was used for target practice until 1970, and remained a local landmark through 1996, when it broke apart and sank.