Two explosive devices were found by the crew of a tourism vessel off Calheta beach today.
Amid speculation, later this evening the Maritime Police stated that at ‘1 pm today, the commander of a sea-going tourist vessel reported to the Maritime Police Department, Funchal that he had detected and collected a bomb-like sea object.’ The ships crew were told not to touch the unknown device again, provide photographs and sail to Calheta Marina immediately, where the ship arrived at 2 pm.
Upon arrival at the port, the fourteen passengers and crew members disembarked and took refuge in a nearby restaurant as instructed by the Rapid Intervention Brigade (BIR). Once the ship was secure, Maritime Police team immediately boarded, supported by local police officers from Calheta. They then moved the dangerous object to a local refuse collection point within the berthing area, which then required the evacuation of all persons in the immediate vicinity to a safe distance of 150 m. Luckily the device was identified as a flare which instead of containing explosives, contained a derivative of phosphorus, which reacts with water and the atmosphere, causing it to combust and produce smoke. It was then safely removed and destroyed by the Explosive Engine Inactivation and Underground Security Team of the Public Security Police’s Regional Command of Madeira.
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