By Linda Cicoira

The regular life-guarded swimming area at North Ocean Beach on the Assateague Island National Seashore, in Maryland, is again open to the public.

This area was closed due to the discovery of fragments of old military munitions on the beach, according to a spokesperson for the Seashore. During the 1940s, the area was used as a test range for U.S. Navy missiles and bombs. Debris was buried on the island in the 1950s and occasionally shows up on the beaches, the worker said, adding, “Unfortunately, six different pieces washed ashore on Saturday and Sunday of last week, necessitating the closure.”

Staff has been working closely with the Worchester County Fire Marshal, Ocean City Bomb Squad, and the Dover AFB Ordnance Disposal Unit over the last few days. All material found on the beach was safely disposed of and no new material has been found since Sunday afternoon.

Visitors are reminded not to pick up unknown metal objects found on the beach or in the surf. If you find something, please notify the nearest employee of the Seashore or the Assateague State Park. The objects are potentially dangerous due to explosive or propellent residue.

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