Yellowknife diver finds beer can with 'wires sticking out.' Then RCMP's bomb squad showed up

·3 min read
Jeremy Macdonald  collects garbage and other objects when he dives under Yellowknife waters. (Chantal Dubuc/CBC - image credit)
Jeremy Macdonald collects garbage and other objects when he dives under Yellowknife waters. (Chantal Dubuc/CBC - image credit)

Scuba diver Jeremy Macdonald finds a lot of random objects when he's diving under Yellowknife area waters — but mostly, it's junk.

He and his friends tend to scoop up bottles, cans, cellphones, garbage, golf balls, fishing hooks, once an old anchor — and even guns.

But recently, he came across some particularly unusual debris.

"I was sorting through some of the stuff we'd picked out like taking the garbage out, taking the recycling out of it. And one of the cans had a couple of wires sticking out," Macdonald told CBC.

"So, I pulled on the wires to see what it was and clear it out … it turned out that there were four blasting caps that hadn't fired sticking out."

Very gently, he put the can down, and walked away.

How do you deal with "unexploded stuff" in Yellowknife, he asked himself.

Macdonald says he called a couple of friends who happen to deal with explosives. They told him to call RCMP.

Jeremy Macdonald
Jeremy Macdonald

Something that goes 'kaboom'

"I called them and said I have an improvised explosive device … then described what it was. They sent a couple cars over and they had a look at it," he said.

Yellowknife police confirmed to CBC that they received a call about a suspected explosive on Saturday, just after noon, and that the RCMP bomb squad in Alberta was called to help. Macdonald said pictures of the suspected explosive were sent to those officers.

Meanwhile, the can needed to move, Macdonald says, as it was still sitting by the side of the road, where he had originally brought it to, so he could throw it in the trash bin nearby.

"I was trying to shake it to get the junk out. And that's before I realized that, hey, maybe there's something that goes kaboom in here," he said.

"We made a decision that I moved it up to an area behind the house that was surrounded by bedrock and was pretty safe and removed from wherever people might be."

Yellowknife RCMP said the bomb team from Alberta arrived on Sunday, and "disposed of the device without incident."

'No robots, no moon suits'

The response from the arriving officers from Alberta who came to whisk away the could-be-bomb was somewhat anti-climatic.

"No robots, no moon suits, no guys in explosive uniforms or anything," McDonald said with a laugh.

What was more, Macdonald said the can had actually been found a few days prior and had been sitting in the back of his truck, drying out.

"Which might not have helped the situation," he said. "From now on, I think we're gonna process debris the day of or the next day and not leave it sitting around just in case there's something exciting in there."

He says if it was an improvised explosive device, "it is probably the most Canadian IED you could possibly see because it was in a Molson Canadian can," which, afterwards, he thought was hilarious.

"Some people speculated online that it was like a redneck fishing device that somebody was throwing in the water to try and get the fish to rise … but we don't know. I've never seen one like that underwater myself."

RCMP said there is no criminal investigation related to the incident and "the file is now closed."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting