There’s nothing better than spending a day on the beach in the summertime. Whether you prefer to splash around in the cool water or lying out on the sand just soaking up the warm rays, you know you’re going to enjoy it. Of course, if those options don’t suit your fancy, you can always go hunting for treasure!

There are all sorts of treasures to be found washed up on a beach. Besides the usual—seashells, sea glass, or seahorses—you might be lucky to snag a message in a bottle, an ancient shark tooth, or $82,000 worth of whale vomit (seriously).

So you can’t blame one family for being delighted when they discovered this huge, strange “buoy” in the middle of the beach. Except it wasn’t actually a buoy—and that mistake nearly cost them their lives.

Kelly Gravell and her family were spending a day at the beach at Burry Port in Wales when they spotted a strange object covered in barnacles and seashells. They had never seen anything like it and decided to snap some fun photographs with their kids.

They didn’t know what the weird object was, but they didn’t think for a minute that it could be dangerous. The children even played near it and struck it with their hands—completely unaware that every strike could’ve actually killed them.

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It wasn’t until a few days later that they got the shock of their lives when they turned on the local news: Pembrook County Park officials announced that a sea mine from World War II had been identified on the beach—the same beach where they’d just gone!

At first they thought that the discovery of a sea mine at the beach was just a coincidence. But they wanted to be sure. So the family took another look at their pictures, and lo and behold, it was the bomb that was featured on the news. Just days prior, they were getting up close and personal with a weapon that could have taken their lives at any second.

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“We were more fascinated by the barnacles on it,” said Kelly in an interview. “I even made a joke that it was a big bomb at the time, but did not think anything of it.” Kelly was, understandably, in complete shock from the experience.

“It’s only afterwards when the reality had set in that we were actually very lucky,” said Kelly, shaking her head in disbelief. “We’ll definitely think twice before messing with something like that in the future.”

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Allison Thomas David, the press officer of Carmarthenshire County Council, agreed that the object looked like a buoy, adding that such things frequently wash up on the beach. Luckily, the mine was secured and detonated by a bomb squad before any other unsuspecting beachgoers could find it.

It’s no surprise why this bomb was found. After all, hundreds of thousands of sea mines were used during World War II—and not all of them were retrieved. Although shocking, it is not exactly uncommon for these undiscovered sea mines to make their way back to European shores.

Even though more than 500 minesweepers were damaged or sunk over the course of 30 years, about 13,000 were purposely left unswept. At the time, officials weren’t sure how secure the mines were, and it wasn’t worth the risk.

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With this bomb safely detonated, Kelly said that the experience would not keep her family from loving the time they spend on the beach. The fascinating video below shows exactly the type of danger Kelly and her family were in with that “buoy.” See for yourself!

It’s a miracle that Kelly’s family survived the unusual ordeal and can now look back at it and smile. Somebody could’ve gotten seriously hurt!

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