Machetes, guns, knuckle dusters, knives and a phone disguised as a Taser pulled from Fen rivers by ‘magnet fisherman’
PUBLISHED: 18:18 12 August 2020 | UPDATED: 18:18 12 August 2020
Machetes, guns, knuckle dusters and a phone disguised as a Taser were pulled from Fenland rivers by a man who took up magnet fishing as a lockdown hobby.
The man made the unexpected discoveries while going “metal detecting in water” at rivers in the Ramsey, March, Whittlesey, Turves and Chatteris area.
The ‘mangnet fisherman’, who plays guitar in a band and does a lot of artwork, found himself getting bored so he decided to find a new hobby as lockdown was beginning to ease.
That’s when he discovered the growing popularity of magnet fishing, which he says is “very common” in America but is rapidly growing in the UK.
“You never know what you’re going to find, “ he said. “You really do not know what is lurking in the depths of the water. It could be a bike, a safe, a metal pole... you really have no idea. So I decided to buy myself a magnet and have a go in the Fens.”
He’s not surprised by some of the weapons he’s found because “if people wanted to throw something a bit dodgy or iffy away then they’ll chuck it in the river”.
Some of his more worrying discoveries have led him to the police station, for example handing in a wartime gun that was in a jiffy bag when he pulled it from the river.
Just this week he found a moped in the water - but wasn’t able to pull it out because it was too heavy.
Some of the smaller items that he’s pulled out include a fidget spinner, keyring, tape measure, trumpet, drill bit, spoon, horseshoe, barbecue lid, wallets, cameras, DVLA wheel clamp, tin can, lampshade and a bottle opener.
The man added that he and the Fenland Magnet Fishers group do not leave their rubbish behind - an attitude that he says not all people have.
“Every river you turn up to around the area it’s full of junk and each location is full of rubbish where people haven’t cleaned up,” he said.
With the larger items, they arrange for a scrap collector to pick things up.
He added that the group’s members put a lot of time into restoring the items if they are of historic value, saying they’ve found “a few Victorian items” which are worth cleaning up.
“I work a four on, four off shift so I put a lot of hours into this hobby,” he said.
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