Anxiety touched stratospheric levels after the early-morning discovery yesterday, before cops and navy men identified the thing as a dummy launcher used in naval drills
Tension skyrocketed in Colaba’s Sassoon Dock area after locals found what appeared to be a rocket launcher early on Tuesday morning.
The area was cordoned and the Colaba police and navy officials were called to the spot to identify the thingamajig.
A bit off-course: The dummy rocket launcher has been handed to the Navy’s Armament Depot for safekeeping
But nerves relaxed considerably after it was found to be a dummy rocket launcher, used only for practise runs. The navy has now taken custody of the launcher.
The police officials said the navy uses mock-up launchers regularly for drills. They speculated that it must have fallen in the sea and caught by a fisherman early in the morning, placed near the dock, and spotted by the locals.
An official from Colaba police station said, “The navy has the rocket launcher’s custody now. It is a dummy, cement-filled rocket with which they practise in the open seas. It was inadvertently left near the fisheries office at Sassoon Dock. We have made a diary entry at the police station. The navy will take up the matter from here.”
According to the navy, the abandoned launcher was inspected by a naval team and classified as a used practise rocket. Such dummies are fired in the high seas as per procedure, and are completely safe as no explosive content remains once it is fired.
The rocket has since been transferred to the Armament Depot for safekeeping. In all likelihood, it was snagged by a fishing-net at sea.
A rocket launcher is any device that launches a rocket-propelled projectile, although the term is often used in reference to mechanisms that are portable and capable of being operated by an individual.