By Amy Farnworth
You never know what you’re going find when you go fishing in the local canal, but the Hargood family got the shock of their lives when they pulled out a LOADED sawn-off shot gun!
Scott and Mary Hargood had taken their three sons out magnet fishing at the Titford Lane Canal in Oldbury, West Mids on Sunday.
After casting a line out into the water and uncovering a money box and some road signs, the Hargoods were left stunned when 12-year-old McKenzie pulled out a loaded sawn-off shotgun.
Scott, 42, who’s originally from Glenrothes, Fife, said he knew immediately what his son had uncovered.
He said: “McKenzie shouted to me to say that he’d got something, so I went to help him and when he pulled it up I said, ‘it’s definitely shot gun’.
“I used to be in the Glenrothes Rifle and Pistol Club when I lived in Fife, so I knew straight away what McKenzie had found.”
After a quick inspection to make sure the gun was safe and wouldn’t fire, Scott called the police and an armed response team came to collect it.
Scott, a full-time carer for his wife, Mary, 40, said the family started magnet fishing as a way to pass the time over the school holidays.
And after watching a YouTube channel called ‘Brummies Outdoors’, they were inspired to hunt for treasure in the waters near their home.
McKenzie, 12, said: “It felt incredible when I found that gun.
“When I first pulled it out though I thought it was a piece of metal, but dad said it was a shot gun.
“After he checked it he let me hold it. It was really, really heavy.
“I like magnet fishing and one day I’d love to find loads of money!”
Scott said: “Since we started magnet fishing my sons have pulled out a sword, a safe door, an empty money box – but this time we got this shotgun.
“McKenzie knew he had something as he said it felt a bit heavy. As soon as I saw it, I was like ‘woah, let me help’ as I didn’t want to put him in danger. We took it home and gave it a wipe down.
“Then when we realised, we called the police. We were shocked. We didn’t even know it was loaded.
“It’s not something you think you’re going to find in the local canal.
“When I rang the police, they said they would send someone the next day at 4pm, but when I told them the serial number I had someone call me 10 minutes later and said they needed to come and get it immediately.
“I don’t know if that means it had been used in a crime or something.
“They said with how corroded the trigger was it could have gone off with the slightest slip.
“We feel very lucky to be honest. The police said to us if we ever find something like that again to call them immediately.”
A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: “We were called to an address in Tipton on Sunday at around 4pm by a member of the public reporting that his son had pulled a sawn-off shotgun from a canal while magnet fishing.
“The weapon, which is believed to have been under water for some time, was recovered by specialist firearms officers and will be analysed in due course.
“We would urge anyone who comes across a firearm to call police immediately.
“Weapons should not be touched as they could in a dangerous condition.”