Military to investigate possible mortar shell found in Kal Lake

A military dive team has been called to Kalamalka Lake Tuesday after the discovery of a possible unexploded military mortar shell.

A military dive team was called to Kalamalka Lake Tuesday after the discovery of a possible unexploded military mortar shell.

A local resident was on a sea-doo on Kal Lake at about 2 p.m. Monday, approximately 100-feet off-shore from Cosens Bay, when he discovered what he thought was a mortar shell in about 20 feet of water.

The resident called Vernon RCMP.

“Our officers contacted one of the local military police officers who all attended in the area by boat,” said Vernon RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk.

“The location has been recorded by the military and they will send and ordinance team out of Esquimalt later today (Tuesday) to determine if it is a mortar and deal with it.”

The resident described the object in the water to police as about four inches round with fins on top, and was partially buried in sand.

The North Okanagan has a history of unexploded ordinances being discovered by residents, mainly in the Commonage and Coldstream as the Vernon Army Camp was used a training facility in the Second World War.

“The Coldstream area was a test range so they anticipate some (mortars) are still in there,” said Molendyk. “The area was used during the war as a training ground. There are various areas within our community where they have found ordinances. Some areas are posted.”

A piece of land on Okanagan College where a new track facility is to be built was recently swept for ordinances and given a clean bill of health.

Molendyk said anybody from the public who finds what they think is a mortar should call police right away.

“Do exactly what the individual in this case did,” he said. “Call us. In summer, we have the military camp operating, they have military police and we call them. They deal with the majority of it.”