Jeff Emlet Goes Treasure Hunting, Winds Up Digging Up Relic Landmine | January 8
Indian River County: When a treasure hunter’s metal detector signaled to something in the shoreline south of Vero Beach, he was hopeful he’d discovered a historic relic — maybe a cannonball. Jeff Emlet, 37, soon learned he was digging up a land mine with his bare hands.
Emlet said he struck it with the digger he was using so he used his hands to uncover the rest. Born and raised in Vero Beach, he said he goes treasure hunting about “every other day.”
Indian River County Sheriff’s Office officials called in Patrick Air Force Base explosive ordnance experts to remove the object, after fire officials confirmed it was a land mine. There have been several instances where a WWII-era ordnance has been found on Treasure Coast shoreline. Several of those have been land mines.
That area is less than 2 ½ miles north of Round Island Beach Park, which served as a WWII Training Area called Fort Pierce Naval Amphibious Training Base — a 19,000-acre area of shoreline active from 1943 to 1946.
While he’s grateful to have made the discovery Jeff Emlet is glad no one got hurt.
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