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Santa Cruz Bomb Squad Called After Powerful California Waves Revealed a Naval Practice Bomb on Beach

Last week’s powerful storms in California left behind more than flooding and erosion to the coastline. The powerful waves also left what looked like a bomb or torpedo on the beach. The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad arrived to handle the situation.

According to a social media post from law enforcement, someone found the potential explosive on Pajaro Dunes on New Year’s Eve. That’s a little south of Santa Cruz along Monterey Bay.

Fortunately, crews were able to quickly determine the device was a practice bomb and posed no real threat. The Sheriff’s Office says they believe it’s from the 1960s and that waves either washed it up or uncovered it from under the sand. 

california waves revealed this old bomb
(Source: Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office)

Where Did the Bomb Come From?

Officials from nearby Travis Air Force Base responded to the scene to collect the device. They later told the Los Angeles Times that the bomb was an MK15 Mod 2 practice bomb used by the U.S. Navy. The device could be as old as from the WWII era. Multiple military-related websites suggest the device was used for target practice by aircraft. Navy officials confirmed it is simply a training device and does not contain explosives. 

“Every few years, we will see military ordnances wash up,” Ashley Keehn, a public information officer for the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, told the LA Times. “We occasionally see sea flares uncovered. This washing up on shore goes to show the intensity of the high surf we saw this past week.”

Last week’s powerful waves brought warnings up and down the West Coast as strong swells battered beaches. Weather officials and local governments warned people to stay away from the coast, and in some spots, people evacuated their homes. Waves easily measured above 20 feet in many areas. At least eight people were hospitalized for injuries.

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