A DOG owner got a shock when her puppy dug up what appeared to be a hand grenade on Burnham beach.

Beverley Milner Simonds was playing fetch with her dog, Thatcher, near the lighthouse when the pup began digging in the sand and gnawing on what looked like a wartime grenade.

Beverley, who organises Burnham’s popular Food and Drink Festivals, said: “I got the shock of my life.

“She had been happily chasing her ball when she got distracted in amongst some debris on the high water mark.

“Like most coastal areas, we have had a lot of rough seas recently and there was quite a mix of flotsam and jetsam. I went over to get the ball and saw what looked like a hand grenade, which Thatcher was trying to dig up.

“I reached down to pull her away and saw the crack in the side and realised it was just a toy. For a split second though I feared for my life and hers.”

For Beverley, a volunteer Coastguard Rescue Officer with HM Coastguard at Burnham, the fright was even more real as she has been called out to deal with incidents involving actual explosives on beaches.

Tris Newey, severn sector manager for HM Coastguard, said: “A number of real ordnance devices have been uncovered on beaches around the country in recent weeks following the storms, so I’m relieved that this particular item turned out to be harmless.

“We would always advise beach users who find suspicious objects to be cautious and dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

“We never mind getting called out if there are genuine concerns and people’s safety is at risk.”