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Popular Byron Bay beach is shut down after a swimmer found a suspicious military object in the sand

Byron Bay beach is shut down as cops set up an exclusion zone after suspicious military object is found in the sand in front of celebrity chef Shannon Bennett’s luxury mansion

  •  John Clemmett found a military object on a Byron Bay beach on Sunday morning
  •  He was walking his dog on Belongil Beach when he found the cylinder at 7.30am
  •  Mr Clemmett said ‘hazard’ and ‘do not handle’ was marked on the cylinder 
  •  NSW Police officers set up an exclusion zone around Belongil Beach on Sunday
  •  The suspicious object was found near celebrity chef Shannon Bennett’s home 

A popular Byron Bay Beach was shut down after a dog walker discovered a suspicious military object in the sand.

John Clemmett and his wife Sonja Hans were walking their dog along Belongil Beach when they stumbled across the object at about 7.30am on Sunday. 

The large cylinder was marked as a hazardous military item and prompted a police exclusion zone in front of celebrity chef Shannon Bennett’s luxury mansion. 

‘I wasn’t sure if it was a smoke bomb or flare or whatever because it was pretty big. A lot bigger than what I’ve found in the past,’ Mr Clemmett told Daily Mail Australia.   

A police exclusion zone was established around a popular Byron Bay beach after a suspicious military object (pictured above) was discovered by a dogwwalker on Sunday morning 

John Clemmett and his wife Sonja Hans were walking their dog along Belongil Beach (pictured above) when they stumbled across the unusual object at about 7.30am

John Clemmett and his wife Sonja Hans were walking their dog along Belongil Beach (pictured above) when they stumbled across the unusual object at about 7.30am

Byron Bay police officers established an exclusion zone around Belongil Beach (pictured) after the couple showed images of the military object to police

Byron Bay police officers established an exclusion zone around Belongil Beach (pictured) after the couple showed images of the military object to police

Mr Clemmett said the object was found among rubbish washed up on the beach (pictured)

Mr Clemmett said the object was found among rubbish washed up on the beach (pictured) 

Mr Clemmett said the couple found the object while collecting rubbish that had been washed on to the beach by the tide. 

‘I could see the cylinder further up on the high tide bar so I walked up to it, rolled it over and it had a warning on it that it was military grade,’ he said. 

Mr Clemmett said he was unsure what the object was because of its size.  

‘If it was a flare I would have phoned triple-zero straight away because I know what flares and the military grade ones look like,’ he said. 

‘But that one, because it was so large, I sort of ignored until I saw the “hazard” and “do not handle” written on it.   

‘It was about 700mm long and about 300mm in diameter, so it was a lot bigger than a normal flare if that’s what it was,’ he explained. 

Mr Clemmett said the couple took pictures of the object and also found a mobile phone, which Ms Hans handed over to the Byron Bay Police station.  

‘My wife took photos, took the phone to the police station, showed the police and the police discovered it was a reportable item,’ he explained. 

Mr Clemmett said the cylinder (pictured above) was marked as a military grade object and covered in warnings such as 'hazard' and 'do not handle'

Mr Clemmett said the cylinder (pictured above) was marked as a military grade object and covered in warnings such as ‘hazard’ and ‘do not handle’ 

Mr Clemmett said he was unsure what the object was because of its large size and did not immediately call triple-zero (police officers on Belongil Beach on Sunday pictured)

Mr Clemmett said he was unsure what the object was because of its large size and did not immediately call triple-zero (police officers on Belongil Beach on Sunday pictured) 

The object was estimated to be about 700cm long and 300cm in diameter (police cars pictured at Belongil Beach on Sunday)

The object was estimated to be about 700cm long and 300cm in diameter (police cars pictured at Belongil Beach on Sunday) 

Mr Clemmett said the couple took pictures of the object and showed police when they handed in a mobile phone they also found on the beach (police officer pictured on Belongil Beach)

Mr Clemmett said the couple took pictures of the object and showed police when they handed in a mobile phone they also found on the beach (police officer pictured on Belongil Beach) 

Mr Clemmett went back to Belongil Beach at about 10.30am after officers called Ms Hans and asked for assistance.     

‘I talked to the gentleman Sonja had spoken to and he asked me “Did you stand it upright?” 

‘And I said no way I was going to stand it upright, it could go off if you do silly things with it. 

‘Someone must have tried to open it up but that could have been a disaster.’ 

Police told the coupe it was a 'reportable item' (officers on Belongil Beach pictured)

Police told the coupe it was a ‘reportable item’ (officers on Belongil Beach pictured) 

Mr Clemmett went back to Belongil Beach at about 10.30am to help find the military object

Mr Clemmett went back to Belongil Beach at about 10.30am to help find the military object 

Mr Clemmett said passersby had been touching the cylinder (Belongil Beach pictured)

Mr Clemmett said passersby had been touching the cylinder (Belongil Beach pictured)  

Mr Clemmett said police established an exclusion zone around the beach but he remained unsure about what the item was. 

NSW Police told Daily Mail Australia emergency services were called to Belongil Beach just before 10am after an object was found in the sand. 

Officers attached to Tweed/Byron Police District attended the scene and the public were asked to avoid the area.   

The object was found in front of celebrity chef Shannon Bennett's (pictured left) mansion

The object was found in front of celebrity chef Shannon Bennett’s (pictured left) mansion

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