British Columbia

Navy confirms mysterious B.C. coastal object no bomb

Diver Sean Smyrichinsky thought an odd object he found on B.C.'s North Coast near Haida Gwaii could be a long-lost Cold War era nuclear weapon, but the navy says it's actually industrial equipment.

A diver thought he had found a bomb lost by the U.S. Air Force in 1950 off B.C.'s North Coast

The Royal Canadian Navy deployed a remotely operated vehicle to investigate the object off the North Coast of B.C. It turned out to be a large piece of industrial equipment and not part of a nuclear bomb as originally speculated. (Royal Canadian Navy)

The Royal Canadian Navy confirmed today that a mysterious object found off the coast of B.C.'s North Coast is not a bomb or a lost nuclear weapon.

The navy was deployed at the request of RCMP to investigate the area near Haida Gwaii after diver Sean Smyrichinsky found a suspicious object during a diving trip near Banks Island.

Banks Island is in the Hecate Strait, approximately 110 kilometres south of Prince Rupert. (Google Maps)

In a statement, the navy said the object is "a metal part of a larger machine assembly and appears to be a piece of industrial equipment."

Many had speculated the object was a lost Cold War nuclear weapon associated with a Convair B-36B, a U.S. Air Force bomber that crashed in northern B.C. in 1950.

Smyrichinsky accompanied navy personnel on HMCS Yellowknife to show them exactly where he had found the object.

"We dropped anchor about 1,000 feet from where I found this object, and the people were professional and kind of excited at the prospect of finding a bomb or UFO," he said.

Specialized bomb crews and a remotely operated vehicle investigated the area and sent data to the military base in Esquimalt, on Vancouver Island, to identify the object.

"They didn't allow any divers in the water and it was only done with robots. You can feel safe to swim in our oceans again. It is not a bomb," Smyrichinsky said of the discovery.

A 'super fun' adventure

Since the navy has finished its investigation, Smyrichinsky said he's had some time to reflect on what the past few weeks have been like.

"Super fun! The whole thing from beginning to end has been pretty overwhelming. Lots of attention worldwide with all of the TV and radio interviews and news things," he said. 

Smyrichinsky has even received admiring letters, including one from a Grade 11 student from Tennessee.

"He had to write a letter to somebody he admires who is not famous, and he picked me because … I didn't ask for a reward and I contacted the proper authorities."

Smyrichinsky said if he ever finds anything else during one of his dives, he'll be sure to report it.

With files from Daybreak North

To listen to the audio, click on the link labelled Not a bomb: Navy determines unidentified object off Banks Island is industrial equipment, not lost nuke