87 bombs found at British nudist beach

London, Oct 13 (IANS) A total of 87 bombs, some dating back to the late 19th century, washed ashore at a nudist beach in Britain, as stunned naturists gawked during a two-day sweep of the sands by the Royal Navy.

The Royal Navy was called in after 26 bombs, including two submarine depth charges and at least six 10-pound mortars, washed up on the beach. A subsequent search unearthed 61 more explosives, The Sun reported Thursday.

The navy's elite team of bomb disposal officers detonated explosives in the sea near the shore.

A string of other items such as bullets were part of the haul found at Leysdown beach on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, the newspaper said.

North Kent coast guard manager Colin Ingram, who oversaw the controlled explosions, said: 'It is quite a find. A lot of shooting and plane exercises happened around Leysdown.'

'Sometimes the shells wouldn't go off when dropped from a plane or shot from a rifle,' he said.

'They were cushioned by the mud and did not explode.'

The east side of the beach - often called Shellness - is the official nudist area.

It is listed on the UK's Naturist Factfile, which says: 'Recent reports suggest regular use by 20 to 30 naturists, with up to 100 at busy weekends.'

The website adds: 'This beach is a mixture of sand, shingle, shells and, in places, mud.'

A sunken Second World War wreck - the SS Richard Montgomery - lies two miles off the coast and is packed with 1,400 tonnes of explosives. But the bombs on the beach are not thought to have come from the stricken US vessel which went down in 1944, according to the newspaper.