Magnetic fishermen are no longer allowed to fish in the pond of Maria Hendrikapark in Ostend. Two young people there caught dozens of detonators this week.
Fishing with magnets
Magnetic fishermen try to remove special metal objects from the water with a strong magnet. The Mayor of Ostend Bart Tommelein (Open VLD) considers it too dangerous to do this in the Maria Hendrikapark pond: “Apparently the Maria Hendrika Park pond is a place where ammunition was dumped in the past. What the magnetic fishermen brought out is very dangerous ammunition. We will now have all of these explosives removed by DOVO, the army’s demining service. “
Miel Dekien and Viktor Huyghe started it a few years ago in their hometown of Adinkerke. “We bought a small magnet, threw it in the water and immediately pulled up a bike. We then thought: Hmm, there could be more in the way. “
It wasn’t the first time the two explosives had been fired. “We have already found plane bombs and grenades. We thought we could assess the danger, but when DOVO was there we were shocked. They couldn’t really laugh about it either. We soon realized that we shouldn’t have done it. We really didn’t know it was that dangerous. Imagine if a 12-year-old child buys a large magnet and goes fishing in Maria Hendrikapark … good that it is now closed and there is a ban, ”says Dekien.
Dekien and his friend go magnetic fishing all over West Flanders. “When we find rubbish like bicycles or traffic signs, we put it aside and inform the community who will pick it up. If we bring out another bomb we will leave it and call the police immediately. We learned our lesson, ”he laughs.