Marine location marker washes ashore

A small number of the smoke and flame producing devices may remain afloat and pose a potential hazard to the public.

  • Mar. 19, 2012 8:00 p.m.

Police had a hand in returning some debris of note last week.

Wednesday afternoon (March 14), a man called police to the beach near the 1700-block of Beach Dr. after he found a military canister. Instructions on the canister directed the finder to contact police or the military if it was found.

Personnel from CFB Esquimalt were called to the scene and retrieved what turned out to be one of the Navy’s marine location markers, a buoyant smoke and flame-producing device that is used by ships and aircraft as a positional marker on the water surface.

According to the Navy, the markers are designed to sink to the ocean floor after they have been expended. A small number do not completely burn off and remain afloat, however, posing a potential hazard to the public.

“The gentleman in this instance did exactly the right thing by calling police,” said Oak Bay Sgt. Rob Smith.

MLMs should only be handled by military or police members who have received training on the disposal of unexploded ordnance.