1. ITV Report

Dog walker nearly throws her dog a WW2 grenade during game of fetch on Essex beach

Clair Watson and her dog Bonnie. Photo: ITV News Anglia

A stretch of Blue Flag beach in Essex has been closed after five unexploded hand grenades were found on the shore in as many weeks.

Daily sweeps of the beach in Dovercourt, near Harwich, have been made since the weekend but now the council says it needs to bring in ordnance specialists to do a thorough search and ensure it's safe.

Things could have been very different for Bonnie. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Clair Watson and her dog Bonnie were playing on the beach in Dovercourt on Sunday when she picked up what she thought was a stone to throw.

"It was corroded and brown and I had it in my hand, looked down, turned it around.

Luckily before I threw it for my dog, I realised it was a hand grenade.

There's probably people out there thinking how can she pick up a grenade and think it's a stone?

But, because of the colour of it, it wasn't a normal grenade like a pineapple one with the ridges in it. It was so corroded that it was completely brown. The pin of it was embedded in the sand so that's where the confusion came from."

– Clair Watson

Thankfully for Clair the grenade was safely detonated by the bomb squad.

But it's the fifth Second World War explosive that has been found washed up on the beach near Lower Marine Parade recently.

The district council have taken the decision to close the beach from the lighthouse to the groyne. Credit: ITV News Anglia

This afternoon the district council have taken the decision to close the beach from the lighthouse to the groyne.

It's about a 100 metre section of beach and it will be closed tomorrow for 48 hours while experts carry out a full search.

"We can't be too careful with members of the public and visitors.

It's a short section so we are advising people to not enter that short section for a short time until we can be certain that they (the grenades) are clear."

– Ian Taylor, Tendring District Council

A decision will be made on whether to reopen the beach after a sweep of it has been completed on Friday.

But depending on what the specialists find, a greater area of the beach could be closed for the bank holiday weekend while further searches are carried out.

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Serena Sandhu