Edinburgh street closed after magnet fisherman hauls handgun and 'grenade' from city canal

An Edinburgh street was closed off by bomb disposal officers after magnet fishermen pulled out a handgun and what they believed to be a grenade from a canal.

By Alexander Lawrie
Monday, 17th January 2022, 1:49 pm

The gun and the ‘grenade’ were dragged out of the capital’s Union Canal by magnet enthusiasts John Robertson and Graeme McShane of the Magnet Fishers of Edinburgh group.

The pair immediately stopped walkers from coming near the area and placed the suspected explosive device into a bucket of water before calling in the police to investigate at around midday on Saturday.

An Explosive Ordnance Disposal team rushed to the scene and an area around the city’s Rope Walk was sealed off for around two hours.

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Magnet fisherman John Robertson raised the alarm after making the terrifying discovery.

The 9mm handgun was taken away by officers for destruction and fortunately the suspected grenade was found to be harmless.

Graeme posted images of the gun and the ‘grenade’ on the MFE Facebook page and added a message: “Within a few throws, John pulls in a revolver hand gun - been in the water for a while but wow what a size.

“We call it in on 101 straight away and then I pull my magnet out. I call James over [and] there's a slightly egg-shaped item, has a side clip and what looked to be a pin on top.

The suspected grenade pulled out of the murky water by magnet fishers.

“We filled a bucket, put it in, called 999 and closed the pathways off.

“Police arrived, took details and thanked us for taking all the right actions.

“The RLC bomb squad arrived, X-rayed the item and thankfully it wasn’t live - whatever it was.

“It has been taken away to be disposed of [along] with the 9mm. The police have bagged the gun and taken it away as well.”

The .9mm handgun pulled from the Union Canal in Edinburgh.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We received a report that what appeared to be a gun and a grenade were recovered from the water at Rope Walk, Edinburgh, around 12.15pm on Saturday, 15 January, 2022.

“Explosive Ordnance Disposal attended and a revolver was recovered. The suspected grenade was a false alarm with good intent.”

The haul is the latest by magnet fishing enthusiasts, who spend their spare time helping clean-up Edinburgh’s waterways. Previous discoveries have included safes, bikes, WW11 anti-aircraft bullets and jewellery.

Experts from the Royal Logistics Corps were swiftly on the scene.

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