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Explosive Catch!

 

Updated : Jun 10, 2009


A Florida fisherman found he really did have a live catch on his hands when he reeled in a very unstable air-to-air guided missile, police said Tuesday.

Commercial fisherman Rodney Salomon really did catch a big one, but never panicked, and kept long-line fishing aboard his "Bold Venture" boat in the Gulf of Mexico for another 10 days before returning to port.

"I had it strapped to the roof of my boat as we rode through lightning storms," Salomon said, according to local Tampa Bay's 10 Connects News.

The bomb squad from a nearby military base that promptly dismantled it upon his return to shore said the heavily corroded eight-foot-long missile could have exploded at any moment.

"I wasn't scared," said 37-year-old Salomon, according to local media reports. "Why should I be scared?"

Salomon, from Saint Petersburg, Florida, was 50 miles (80 kilometers) out in the Gulf from Panama City when he caught the military ordnance, said the Pinellas County sheriff's office.

The sheriff's office said the find was an "American made air-to-air missile," without giving further details about which branch of the armed forces the missile came from or how it may have landed in those waters.

A bomb squad from McDill Air Force base said the missile was corroded by its apparent extended stay in saltwater, but "was live and in a very unstable state," the sheriff's office said.

Chrissy Cuttita, spokeswoman at Eglin Air Force Base, said it was an "AIM-9 missile, it was released by an F-15 in August 16, 2004 during an exercise conducted by the 53rd weapons evaluation group at Tyndall Base in Panama City."

Salomon asked the bomb squad if he could keep the missile as a souvenir after it was made safe, but the request was denied.

He said it wasn't the first one he and his three-man "Bold Venture" crew picked up. Days after the find, Salomon nabbed another.

That one was beeping so he decided to let it go.

VeryHappyPig reckons this was a real case of 'we need a bigger boat'.

 

 

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