U.S. Air Force Assists Depoe Bay Fire District in Marker Disposal
Depoe Bay Fire Chief Joshua Williams responded to a call Monday afternoon from a concerned citizen walking on the beach who came across an unusual object labeled “Call police or Military.” The device turned out to be a marine location marker – a buoyant device designed to be released from helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft to indicate position in the sea.
“This was potentially dangerous,” according to Chief Williams, “because many of these markers do not fully burn off all of the phosphorus they contain, In some instances it can spontaneously reignite when the marker dries out. When originally deployed, the marker emits a high intensity yellow flame and white smoke for 13.5 to 20 minutes.
The Depoe Bay Fire District immediately cordoned off the object and contacted Oregon State Police for assistance. It was determined that the United States Air Force EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) team from Portland would need to respond to destroy the device.
With assistance from Oregon State Parks, the area was secured until the USAF arrived on scene. The marine marker was then taken to a remote area in Gleneden Beach and was safely detonated.
At the request of Chief Williams, a reverse 911 was sent out by County Emergency Manager Jenny Demaris notifying nearby businesses and residents that a controlled explosion would be occurring.
The Depoe Bay Fire District, Oregon State Police and the USAF EOD team would like to remind beach goers to never touch a potentially hazardous item. “Be safe and call 911 with the item’s location,” Chief Williams said.
Here are additional photos of scooping it up and securing it for detonation.