As a self-confessed beachcomber, Steve LaRocca is used to finding the weirdest of garbage and treasures washed up on the shores of the Fraser River in Richmond.
But one of his most recent discoveries caught his attention and immediately sent a little shiver up his spine.
LaRocca – who posts videos and photos of his travails on social media under FraserRiverFinds – last week found what appeared to be a military flare, on the shores of the Salish Sea, near Terra Nova..
He said that he always shoots his videos live and never stages them, so he didn’t realize what he had in his hand until he picked up the canister and turned it over.
Canister had danger warning
A label on the canister warned of its danger and urged anyone in possession to call the police.
Once he sussed out what he had in his grasp, he gently laid it back down and called the RCMP.
LaRocca waited for an officer to arrive, but he’s not sure what then happened to the flare.
Richmond RCMP told the Richmond News that the device belonged to the Canadian Armed Forces, who were contacted for "safe removal and disposal."
What to do if you find a dangerous device?
Richmond RCMP told the Richmond News that anyone finding such a device should "minimize contact and vibration" near it, including using a cell phone close to it.
Police suggest following the instructions on the device, if there are any, and not to pick it up, if possible, or collect it to take to the police station.
Instead, call the police, who can send in the RCMP Explosives Disposal Unit.
First Nations Chief sign, toy soldier and car comb found
Some less dangerous recent discoveries made by Richmond’s resident beachcomber include what appears to be a First Nations sign (with a chief’s name on it) which LaRocca guessed may have floated downriver from B.C.’s Interior.
He also found one of those tiny plastic soldiers that used to be sold in big packs decades ago.
LaRocca was particularly impressed by that find, adding that, in the four years he’s been combing the Fraser’s shores, he’s never come across one of the little armed guys.
Another recent plastic “treasure” plucked off the beach was, fittingly, a comb, which was shaped like a car.
You can find more of LaRocca’s discoveries at FraserRiverFinds on Twitter.