The Coast Guard has permanently barred boats from passing through a portion of Gravesend Bay that is apparently littered with bombs. While this seems like it would be a good move for boaters, it also means that the 1,500 unexploded anti-aircraft shells sitting in the water may continue to sit there for eternity. A temporary safe zone was created late last year in part of the bay. This June, the Coast Guard made a 20-foot “no sail zone” permanent.
The ammo, which was designed to explode on contact, was discovered in October of last year, having fallen off a military barge during a storm 55 years ago, reports the Brooklyn Paper.
“This safe zone could end up preventing a tragedy,” said Assemblyman William Colton (D-Bensonhurst). “This justifies what we have been saying all along.”
The safe zone also seems one way to get folks out of actually having to collect all the bombs and do away with them. The Coast Guard says that’s the Army Corps of Engineer’s duty, but at least one person at the Corps said he hadn’t heard of any bomb removal operation.
Meanwhile, maybe this isn’t even a big deal!
“It’s not something to panic about,” said Ken Hayes of Aqua Survey, the company that mapped out the 1,500 shells in November. “The world is littered with ammunition.”
That doesn’t mean, though, that you really want to float on top of it.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 1, 2011