Explosive washes up near Blue Goose Tavern in Port Orchard

Annapolis resident Jean Opstrup found an explosive on the beach near her house along Sinclair Inlet.  - Justine Frederiksen/Staff Photo
Annapolis resident Jean Opstrup found an explosive on the beach near her house along Sinclair Inlet.
— image credit: Justine Frederiksen/Staff Photo

An uninvited guest showed up to a Port Orchard woman’s birthday gathering last month — a stick of dynamite.

Jean Opstrup, 76, lives next-door to the Blue Goose Tavern on Beach Drive, and said that her family was gathered at her home along Sinclair Inlet in Annapolis March 21 when one of her grandsons found an explosive on the beach below her back patio.

“It looked like a package of Jimmy Dean (sausage), only a little bit bigger, and it was yellow,” Opstrup said, explaining that the words “Danger, Explosives” were written in both English and Spanish on the item.

“I joked that since it was my birthday, I wanted to put on a show for everybody,” she recalled.

The family then called 911, and after an officer responded, the Washington State Patrol Bomb Squad was dispatched, Opstrup said.

Opstrup said a member of the squad told her the item was a “large stick of dynamite” that was still active, but likely wouldn’t have gone off unless it was “really jarred or hit hard.”

At the Blue Goose Tavern, owner Susie Geisler displayed a picture of the item that was taken as it was being removed by the bomb squad.

“A couple of Navy guys said that it was still active, and that if it had gone off, it would have taken out the windows for a city block,” Geisler said.

“They told us to watch for more,” Geisler said, adding that she was told such items do wash up occasionally, but it was unknown where they were coming from.

Sgt. Neil Schuster, who works with the WSP bomb squad in Bremerton, said he retrieved the explosive March 21, and it was a Senatel Ultrex, made by a company in Mexico.

“But there was no lot number or identification, so we can’t trace where it came from,” Schuster said, explaining that the explosives are used in mining or working in quarries and do float. “It could have come from anywhere.”

Schuster said that type of explosive is “fairly safe,” meaning that it takes a special device to detonate it. “You don’t want to throw them in a fire, but they won’t explode just by looking at them.”

He said Opstrup’s family “did exactly the right thing” when they discovered it.

“They didn’t touch it, and called us,” he said. “Any time you don’t know what something is, call us.”

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