Florida Boy Retrieves Two Sniper Rifles While Magnet Fishing in a Canal With His Grandpa

Toby Hazlewood

A surprising find amongst the scrap metal

When he set out with his grandpa to go magnet fishing this weekend, 11-year-old Allen Cadwalader had no idea what he would find. He certainly didn't expect to retrieve a pair of .50-caliber M82A1 Barrett sniper rifles which were submerged in the Miami-Dade canal.

Allen and his grandpa Duane Smith were magnet fishing from a bridge over the C-102 canal on January 30, using a magnet on a rope that could pull up to 1600 pounds of metal. They likely expected some scrap metal or a few other trinkets - but not the two rifles that have an estimated value of around $10,000.

The guns had been wrapped and tied in cloth and upon investigation their serial numbers had been filed off so there is no way of determining if they were government-owned.

Smith - an army veteran with 18-years service recognized the weapons once the bundles were opened and called the police who have since secured the weapons,

Magnet fishing is big business!

Many of those who take part in magnet fishing are doing it out of a desire to clean up waterways and to remove scrap metal. Mr Smith had taken his grandson out to do just that, and to pass a few hours with the boy who suffers from autism and prefers to play outdoors.

Of course, there's always the prospect of finding something valuable in amongst the junk. Finds of weapons, ammunition and other items of military equipment can also be quite common.

An article listing the 10 most impressive finds while magnet fishing include a vintage 1950's Pepsi Soda can, a stash of German World War 2 helmets, an American Civil War era railroad wheel and a pair of cannonballs, and perhaps most valuable of all, a diamond bracelet retrieved from the River Thames in London, England.

Weapons and ammo are often found

The origin of the weapons found by Allen Cadwalader are not known right now, but it seems quite common for guns, ammo and even explosive bombs and mortars to be found submerged in waters around the US. Whether these have been disposed of by criminals or simply ended up in the water by accident is anyone's guess.

A whole industry has grown-up around magnet fishing, with those who take part in the activity recording videos of their finds and sharing them online, as well as offering their services to those who've lost precious metal items in the water and want them retrieved.

Hopefully once the police have done what they need to, Allen Cadwalader and his grandpa will be able to sell the rifles and use the money for their own benefit!

Have you found anything exciting or unexpected in Florida's waterways? Let me know in the comments section below.

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