While magnet fishing in southern Louisiana on Feb. 9, a YouTuber and his cohorts pulled up what appeared to be a rocket propelled grenade round.
In a video, Bryce Nachtwey can be seen standing alongside the highway, removing numerous welding rods as cars zoom by in the background. Shortly thereafter, however, things take a turn, and his magnet hooks something a bit fishier: an RPG.
In the clip, a shaken Nachtwey sets it down on the ground and calls his girlfriend’s brother, who is in the Army. He confirms what he believes to be an M31 HEAT rifle grenade.
When the phone call ended, Nachtwey placed the RPG on the ledge of a guardrail and called 911. Local authorities assessed the situation then decided to involve the U.S. Army, given its appearance as a military round.
Soldiers from the Fort Polk-based 705th Explosive Ordnance Company later responded to the call about the unexploded ordnance along Prairie Highway in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.
“The item was reported as a ‘bazooka rocket,’” Deven King, director of public affairs for Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, told Military Times.
Fortunately, EOD personnel determined it was not an explosive hazard. Still, Nachtwey said he was glad to make the safe call in involving the authorities.
“I’ve learned my lesson not to play,” he said in the video.
Last year, Nachtwey and his friends pulled up 86 rockets from a river near Fort Stewart, Georgia. For that, they were ticketed with several hundred dollars worth of fines. Ultimately, however, local courts dismissed all charges.
As part of an effort to remove waste from America’s waterways, Nachtwey has helped launch the #CleanStreamMovement, which seeks to eliminate a million pounds of metal from lakes and rivers. So far, he said, his team alone has managed to clear more than 35,000 pounds.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.