Ah, the hidden treasures lying at the bottom of mysterious rivers, lakes and oceans – a wonderful, endless pandora’s box of toilet seats, old boots, needles and car tyres.
And guns! Loads and loads of dangerous guns!
Amazingly, this isn’t America – where guns are far easier to come across and needn’t be hidden submerged in a canal – this is Salford, north west England.
A family who went magnet fishing pulled up a huge bag of guns near the river Irwell, which was wrapped in a yellow, hi-vis jacket and weighted down with bricks.
Check it out:
Magnet fishing (which isn’t really fishing is it? Unless fish have metallic properties that I don’t know about… it’s more like metal detecting but in water) is a mixture of environmentalism and treasure hunting. Participants use incredibly strong magnets to pull up objects from the beds of rivers or canals.
Douglas Simcock, who’s been fishing for two months now, was out with his wife and two children when they came across the haul.
The family, from Stoke-on-Trent, stumbled across a pump action shotgun, two handguns and ammunition in the bag, using a two-sides magnet capable of lifting 300kg.
The family handed the guns into the police straight away.
Sarah, who’d not been fishing with her husband before, was stunned at the discovery.
We left from the Alexandra park lake which is in the middle of Manchester itself. We went further down and we found the canal [where] we discovered the gun underneath a big bridge.
My husband Douglas and my two children, they tend to go every weekend and have been doing it roughly now for about two months.
It was my first time on that weekend and we came across the guns – crazy really. Douglas has never found anything before like this but he has fished out a few items.
About the guns themselves, Sarah said:
One of the guns was an all black pump action shotgun and still had a shell casing inside it. Another one, which we are not sure on the make, but was an all metal and black handgun type.
The final one was another handgun but […] it could’ve been a revolver.
There was three guns, ammunition and shotgun casing – it was wrapped up in a yellow hi-vis jacket with two big bricks inside the bag.
It’s fair to say the find was far from the usual items Douglas normally pulls up, which mainly consist of bikes, shopping trolleys and watering cans, according to Sarah.
It took Douglas ten minutes to drag the bag of guns out of the water, and after realising what they were, the family took them straight to the police.
Like metal detecting, many people who go magnet fishing do so hoping to find rare and valuable items. Guns, on the other hand, are not an uncommon find, but anyone who does find one is urged to contact the police immediately.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.