Loaded anti-tank rocket launcher found in B.C. bush is a puzzle

Rocket launcher found in bush on Vancouver island. The weapon is a lethal tank killer.

SHAWNIGAN LAKE, B.C. – Authorities are puzzling over the discovery of a loaded rocket launcher found in dense bush by the side of Highway 1 on southern Vancouver Island.

A military officer with two tours of duty in Afghanistan identified the weapon as a M72 self-propelled rocket launcher with lethal power that can penetrate armoured vehicles.

The rocket launcher of the type found on Thursday has the capacity to destroy an armoured personnel carrier or a tank at a range of up to 350 metres.

How the lethal anti-tank rocket launcher came to sit in bush near the highway approximately 100 metres from McCurdry Drive in Shawnigan Lake remained a mystery last night with cops and the armed forces trying to discover who owned it.

“Officers from Shawnigan Lake RCMP Detachment were called to the scene and secured the area. One of the officers, a Canadian Forces veteran and who served two tours in Afganistan, recognized the weapon to be an M72 self propelled rocket launcher. The rocket launcher was loaded with what appeared to be one live rocket grenade in the tube,” said Sgt. Rob Webb.

“The Canadian Forces Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit was called to the scene and took custody of the weapon.

“It is not known how this rocket launcher came to be at this location. It was located approximately seven meters off the highway in a densely treed area. It appeared as though the rocket launcher had been there for at least six months or longer.”

Anyone with information about this rocket launcher is asked to contact the Shawnigan Lake RCMP Detachment.

Copyright 2009-2014, Vancouverite News Service.

Posted by on Oct 28 2010. Filed under Canada, EDITOR'S CHOICE, Featured, Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

8 Comments for “Loaded anti-tank rocket launcher found in B.C. bush is a puzzle”

  1. How big do maple leaves grow in BC? That one leaf makes the rocket launcher look about a foot long, which does not agree with even basic research of the weapon. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M72_LAW)
    Also, the shiny exterior tells me it is not of military origin, as many vets I have spoken to from various wars and countries have all said that armies never use shiny tools. Everything (tools, weapons, even vehicles) is non-reflective for safety reasons.

    • We looked it on WIKI and saw a pic of a seated soldier holding it on his shoulder. Looks like it could be about 2.5 to three feet? The specs are there and the one he is holding is typically green and shiny.

  2. It’s BC they use these for seeding controlled avalanches. Not a big deal, no one got hurt.

  3. Give it to Bruce Cockburn… I think he’s still looking for one.

  4. I wouldn’t be surprised if it fell off of an Army vehicle.

    • Most likely explanation. But this is a single launch, ready to fire weapon is it not? Dangerous in the wrong hands.

    • Don’t be fricken ridiculous!
      A. These are highly restricted weapons that would only be issued (to a CF unit) in Canada to fire on a range. (unless some MAJOR emergency calls for their use.)
      B. The security and accountability on them when they are issued to go to a range is very tight and there is NO CHANCE they would be left in a position that would let them fall off a vehicle. The CF does not make it a habit to cruise around with all kinds of ammunition in a non-emergency type situation, especially off base.
      C. yes, It is a real one. The shiny part is exposed when the tube is extended immediately prior to firing. If they didn’t see you before you fire, they will sure see you after anyway, due to the blast of the rocket. It is possible someone tried to fire this one and it failed to fire. That would be a good reason to ditch it in the manner it was found. BTW the writing on the side is the instructions for firing….
      D. I doubt (but I do not know) that these are used for initiating avalanches. They don’t tend to explode in soft material and the range is fairly limited.
      E. One more point… it isn’t considered to be an anti tank weapon anymore – although it will do a real number on soft skinned veh and some APCs. They are used in Afghanistan primarily for gaining entry to hard points in buildings. ie they will make a nice hole in the wall.
      Now – stop speculating about things you nothing about. If you have an opinion, don’t express it as a fact. The CF is much more competent than you give it credit for.

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