LINCOLN COUNTY - What would you do if you were walking along the beach and you came across something that looked dangerous and had 'TO ARM: ROTATE COVER TO ARMED POSITION' written on it?
If you're smart, you'll leave the thing alone and call the authorities. And that's just what someone did when they found an object like that Wednesday at Gleneden Beach on the Oregon coast.
It turned out the mystery object was a marine location marker, a buoyant device designed to be released from helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft to indicate position in the sea. The device emits a high-intensity yellow flame and white smoke for up to 20 minutes.
Markers can be dangerous even after they are used. That's because many of them do not fully expend all of the phosphorus they contain and can sometimes reignite when they dry out.
So who did the authorities call to take care of it? They got in touch with the United States Air Force, which sent an explosives team from Portland to secure the marine marker. And they blew it up just to be on the safe side (click on the video link to see the explosion).
An automated phone calling system was used to let nearby residents know about the controlled explosion.