Oregon State Police Issue Marine Marker Warning

Three were found along the state's coast recently by Oregon State Police Hazardous Device Technicians and Air Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel, prompting the Oct. 7 alert.

The discovery of three three Mark 25 Marine Markers along the Oregon coast within one week has prompted the Oregon State Police to post a warning telling residents these devices are extremely dangerous and should not be touched. The agency's alert says anyone who finds one should secure the area for 100 feet in every direction and call the Oregon State Police Explosives Unit (800-452-7888) or the 142nd Air Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal in Portland for assistance.

The Oregon State Police alert warns the marine markers contain white or red phosphorus and should not be touched.Getting three reports within a week is highly unusual, the agency noted. The devices are used by military aircraft personnel over the ocean to mark floating locations.

These are aluminum tubes about 3 inches in diameter and 18 inches long. They may be marked with identifier numbers and hazard information, but "if the markings are worn off by handling, abrasive sand, etc., identification can be very difficult ," according to the agency.

The markers contain white phosphorous or red phosphorous, even after they appear to have been expended. "After rolling around in the ocean, the seals are generally compromised and can rupture. If the casing is ruptured, the contents can spontaneously ignite and cause very severe injuries and/or death," the agency warned.

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