London

Boat Races go ahead after WW2 bomb find

Policeman holding WW2 shell Image copyright @HammFulMPS
Image caption Hammersmith and Fulham Met Police tweeted a photograph of one of their officers holding the wartime shell

The 163rd University Boat Race went ahead after a World War Two shell was removed from the River Thames.

The Met Police confirmed the submerged item was assessed and taken away by specialist officers earlier on Sunday.

It was found on the northern shore near Putney Bridge, west London, on Saturday. Experts had to wait for the tide to recede to examine the item.

Crowds later lined the banks of the river to see Oxford win the men's race and Cambridge win the women's race.

The BBC understands the shell was found by a passing sailor and was located on the Chelsea bank of the river on the north side of Putney Bridge.

The races started on the other side of Putney Bridge.

Image copyright All Sport/Getty Images
Image caption Oxford won the men's race
Image copyright All Sport/Getty Images
Image caption And Cambridge won the women's race

In an earlier statement, the Metropolitan Police said: "Police were called by a member of the public at approximately 13:50 BST on Saturday... reporting what they thought to be World War Two ordnance on the Chelsea shoreline by Putney Bridge."

Michelle Dite, race director of the Boat Race said ahead of the event: "We are very happy to update that the ordnance has now been safely removed and The Cancer Research UK Boat Races will be going ahead as planned. Thank you to the Metropolitan Police for their support."

More on this story