‘Torpedo’ Turns Up on Bryher

The object found by Richard Pearce on Bryher

The object found by Richard Pearce on Bryher

What would you do if an object that looked like a torpedo washed up on a beach near you and pointed towards your house?

That’s the dilemma Bryher artist Richard Pearce faced on Tuesday evening when he found a 6-foot, bright yellow, torpedo-like object, on the shoreline.

Richard says he was concerned when it started whirring and the tail fin moved.

After close inspection he found no hazard warnings but did see a phone number. Nobody answered when he called so he left it outside overnight, wondering what it was.

But yesterday, Richard received a call from the National Oceanography Centre. They tracked the kit to his front garden using GPS.

It turns out to be one of two marine gliders currently surveying the waters around Scilly. It can dive down to 100 metres and travel at speeds of about one mile an hour as it beams back marine sample data to scientists by satellite.

Scilly’s Inshore Fisheries Officer Steve Watt had been told that the survey would be taking place in two areas well away from the islands but was also warned that weather and technical problems could mean the gliders turn up on the islands.

The advice from the National Oceanographic Centre for anyone finding one is to leave it in the water.

But even though it’s worth around £100,000, Richard has been told that he won’t be receiving a reward for his find.

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