‘Magnetic fishers’ sentenced after discovering old ammunition near Georgia military base
YouTubers who found a treasure trove of old munitions while using a magnet to “fish” near a Georgia military base have been rewarded with a ticket from local authorities.
Bryce Nachtwey and Matt Jackson decided to visit a river near Fort Stewart in June, and in no time they scored big on their expedition – rusty ammo belts with .50 caliber bullets, plates of armour, a tank tracer and a flare.
Their grand prize ended up being a bag of 86 rockets stuffed inside a Delta Airlines duffel bag.
The vloggers were celebrating their findings when they called authorities to let them know what they had found. It was then that they received bad news.
“Here’s what I’m going to tell you: you all get tickets,” the game warden said on his video. “You can come to court and talk to the judge.”
The alternative to the $340 they owed in bills was to spend time in jail for acquiring military property.
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The game warden told them they weren’t allowed to fish from the bridge and that the river was part of Fort Stewart property.
Mr Nachtwey flipped the camera to explain that the fishermen had checked with the Department of Natural Resources before casting their lines. One side of the bridge was a prohibited “red zone”, while the side they were fishing from, he said, was an accessible “green zone”.
That still wouldn’t be enough, according to the game warden.
“The reason magnet fishing isn’t allowed is because of what exactly you have there – you’re shooting tank shells and all these different s -” the director said. “You don’t know what will explode and what will not explode.”
Even though the YouTubers said they were doing this to clean up the rivers, the director told them that it was the responsibility of Explosive Ordnance Disposal to handle these items. He also said that if they had applied for a hunting and fishing permit, they would have known the river was off limits.
“Because Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield is an active training facility, munitions of varying sizes are fired here on a regular basis. There is always (the possibility) that potential unexploded ordnance could end up in the environment, including rivers,” a Fort Stewart spokesperson told McClatchy News. “The risk of unexploded ordnance being present throughout the training area, regardless of how it got there, is one of the reasons why activities such as magnet detection are not permitted. .”
The vloggers have a September 9 court date.