Airforce Beach lives up to its name
By TESSA HOFFMAN
THE threat of a suspected live phosphorus flare detonating sparked authorities to cordon off a section of Airforce Beach at Evans Head yesterday.
Local police sectioned off a 50-metre buffer zone around the US Navy phosphorus flare, after it was found mid- morning by a resident walking 3km north of what locals call the 'four wheel drive track'.
Senior Constable Rob Kerr said it was necessary to seal off the area until bomb experts arrived.
If it was live and had detonated, the flare would send out a spray of phosphorus that could have burned anyone in the vicinity.
A Defence Department spokeswoman yesterday confirmed that members from the joint logistics group from South Queensland would visit the site.
"If (the flare) is found to be live, they will dispose of it" she said.
"We don't know where it has come from. These things can be floating around in the ocean for years."
The flare one metre long and 15 cm in diameter was labelled 'US Navy Nav Air Marker. Do not handle, contains phosphorus. May cause serious burns.'
Snr Const Kerr said it was very rare to find US military devices on the beach despite the close proximity to the Evans Head weapons range.
Ten years ago Evans Head residents Joan and Linsday Aitken found a WWII brass bombshell case on the beach at nearby Broadwater.