Magnet fishermen are no longer allowed to fish in the pond of the Maria Hendrikapark in Ostend. Two young people there this week fished dozens of detonators from bombs.
Magnetic fishermen try to get special metal objects out of the water with a strong magnet. Mayor of Ostend Bart Tommelein (Open VLD) thinks it is too dangerous to do that in the pond of the Maria Hendrikapark: “Apparently the pond of the Maria Hendrikapark is a place where ammunition was dumped in the past. What the magnet fishermen have brought out is very dangerous ammunition. We now have all those explosives removed by DOVO, the army’s demining service. ”
“We should not have done it”
Miel Dekien and Viktor Huyghe started it a few years ago in their hometown Adinkerke. “We bought a small magnet, threw it into the water and immediately got a bicycle upstairs. We thought then: hmm, there could be more in the canal. ”
It was not the first time the two had fished up explosives. “We have already found airplane bombs and grenades. We therefore thought that we could estimate the danger of this, but when DOVO arrived on the spot, we were shocked. They couldn’t really laugh about it either. We soon realized that we should not have done that. We really didn’t know it’s that dangerous. Imagine that a child of 12 years old buys a large magnet and goes fishing in the Maria Hendrikapark… it is good that it is now closed and there is a ban ”, says Dekien.
Dekien and his friend go magnet fishing everywhere in West Flanders. “When we find waste such as bicycles or road signs, we put it aside and inform the municipality that will collect it. If we bring out another bomb, we leave it and immediately call the police. We have learned our lesson ”, he still laughs.