BOMB disposal teams were scrambled after a Second World War practice grenade washed up on Dovercourt beach.

A 100-metre cordon was put in place on part of the beach, in Lower Marine Parade, after walkers reported the suspicious item.

Essex Police had said the object that caused the concern “could be” an unexploded hand grenade.

The item was found shortly after 11am on Sunday by a member of the public, who alerted seafront wardens.

A spokeswoman for Tendring Council said: “The bomb disposal unit was called from Portsmouth and didn’t arrive until 10pm.

“At about 11.50pm, we were told it was a dummy practice Second World War grenade .

“While waiting, there was a high tide, which covered the grenade and once it went back out, it was still there.”

Joyce Hesketh-Paterson was enjoying the last of the sun at her beach hut when she witnessed the drama.

“W e opened the front beach hut doors and saw the tape continued a few more doors down from our hut and just bey ond the warden’s hut in the other direction,” she said.

“We saw one police car and officer and the beach patrol folk.

"They were waiting for the tide to go out.

“I’m not surprised because there have been other munitions found – just not that near to our hut.”

Chief Inspector Russ Cole, Tendring district commander, said: “Public safety is our main priority in the current climate.

"You can never take enough precautions to protect people.

“This took a lot of police time and effort.

“I would be keen to hear from the community if they have got any information.

"We do not know how long it had been there.

“There is all sorts of old stuff down there.

"I’m just pleased it was dealt with efficiently and safely.”

Essex Police confirmed the item found had been “a training device.”