UK man magnet fishing finds six World War II machine guns

(AP Photo/Santiago Billy)

Magnet fishing isn’t really fishing. It’s scavenging, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Metal odds and ends end up in rivers and lakes and you never know what you might find. That’s especially true over in Europe where ancient artifacts are often found in the water.


I mean, a 7-year-old girl found a sword in a Cornish lake several years back. I’m still pretty sure that makes her the rightful queen of England, at least according to legend, but apparently most in the UK disagree.

Oh well.

Yet people magnet fishing often find strange things. For one British man, he found the kind of thing most of us could only dream about.

A magnet fisherman was left shocked when he pulled six Second World War submachine guns from a canal.

Nigel Lamford, 50, lifted the ‘Sten’ Mk II guns out of the water using his specially-made magnet, which can lift over a ton of metal.

He made the find last month after throwing his device into a boggy canal in Weedon Bec, Northamptonshire, near the former Royal Ordnance Depot site.

He pulled out a magazine, followed by the gun and stock he re-assembled on the bank.

Lamford, from Kettering, Northamptonshire, said: “A find like that was just the best find ever in my opinion.

“You can find some amazing stuff, but I’ve never found so many guns in such good condition together.”

And here I thought it was just American gun owners who were crappy boaters.

Seriously, Lamford is in the UK, so I’m actually a little surprised the police didn’t promptly arrest him for possession of a firearm without going through the nation’s draconian licensing system.

While no arrests were made, Lamford did say that he couldn’t keep his finds because of the law. Instead, the guns had to be destroyed by police or turned over to a museum to be restored.


Personally, I hope these went to a museum.

Especially since these were in no condition to fire and likely would never be safe to operate anyway. They’re wall-hangers, relics of a day when the British were part of an effort that literally saved the world. It would be nice if Lamford could have held onto these and other guns he found magnet fishing.

Now, to be fair, Lamford is probably OK with not keeping the live artillery shell he found in the Thames not all that long ago. He basically shut down that section of the river and likely would prefer not to have live ordinance of questionable stability sitting around his living room.

Or maybe he would be. I try not to judge.

Regardless, it’s a pretty cool find that has me considering whether magnet fishing could be a viable excuse to get out of the house for a few hours. Who knows, I might find something cool like this.

More likely, I’ll end up with a bunch of junk, but if people can play with metal detectors, I see no reason not to do essentially the same thing in the water.

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