Stanbury Mouth cordoned off when visitors find ‘human’ bones

Stanbury Mouth is a wild old place, difficult to access and out Morwenstow way. This limited access means it is a quiet beach of sand and rock. It is ideal for dog walking, but this weekend a family’s dog picked up what they thought was a human bone, so they dialled 999. Police and Coastguard were called out to the grim discovery or what looked like highly decomposed human remains. This was absolutely the right thing to do.

Bude Coastguard related the incident:

“Bude Coastguard Rescue Team were paged at 17:44 yesterday (Sunday) and tasked to Stanbury Mouth following the reported discovery of human remains on the beach.

The highly decomposed remains were discovered when a family, who were on the beach walking their dog, noticed it had in its mouth what looked to be a human arm and hand.

Having retrieved the remains and placing them above the high water mark, the family then contacted HM Coastguard and the police.

Bude CRT made their way to the scene, and immediately closed public access to the beach while they awaited the arrival of the police.

With the Police on the scene and taking details from the first informant, six Coastguard Rescue Officers and two police officers then walked down to the beach to investigate.

Having quickly found the suspect remains upon arrival on the beach – and with immediate suspicions that these were not human remains after all – the Rescue Officers quickly formed a line of search, and began a comprehensive search of the foreshore.

During the search many more remains were discovered, some of which clearly pointed to these being parts of a degraded carcass of a large seal.

With the entire foreshore searched, the team and the Police were satisfied that these remains were not human. To allay any possible doubt, the Police retrieved a sample of the remains for further testing.

With the sample bagged, the Police and the Coastguard Rescue Officers made their way back to the RV point in Stanbury Mouth car park.

The first informant made absolutely the right call here.

Both the Coastguard Rescue Team and the Police concurred that the remains did look remarkably human, save for a few key factors which ultimately helped to identify this as the remains of a seal”.




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