Royal marines fire fight sparks terror among residents near to Southampton's Itchen Bridge

Daily Echo: Royal Marines on excercise. Royal Marines on excercise.

WITH machine guns loudly firing off rounds as boats sped past in the darkness, it was like a Hollywood action film come to life.

Worried Nick Tomlinson and his family dived for cover as the frightening firefight unfolded outside their waterside Southampton flat, in case a stray bullet came flying through the window.

The Ocean Village resident was left stunned when he went to investigate what he thought was fireworks disturbing the evening peace, only to see people on boats shooting automatic weapons at each other in the River Itchen.

For about 20 minutes the shots rang out as small vessels whizzed around a larger boat moored on a jetty close to the Itchen Bridge, before it was suddenly all over almost as swiftly as it had begun.

Even police were baffled when Mr Tomlinson called them to find out what had happened.

But last night it was revealed that the on-water gunfight, which the shocked onlooker said looked “just like something out of a James Bond film”, was actually the Royal Marines taking part in a training exercise.

Mr Tomlinson said he was just as stunned with the truth.

He said: “It was like a war zone scene, it was astonishing.

“There were people on boats shooting at each other with what looked like sub-machine guns. It looked like a firefight.

“I could see the flashes from the guns, but the boats were very dark.

“I straight away moved everyone out of the firing line. I was very concerned.

“If it was an exercise it shouldn’t happen so close to homes.

“It’s just a stupid place to do it.”

Police initially had no idea what had happened, but eventually discovered that it had been a military training exercise.

A force spokesman said that they had received no warning of any activity planned in the area.

But a Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said that the Royal Marines had simply been taking part in a standard exercise, and everything was correctly put in place beforehand.

She wouldn’t reveal details of the activity, but said: “It was a routine exercise and all the relevant authorities were informed.

“We told Vessel Traffic Services in advance, and they should then pass that on to the relevant authorities.”

Comments (13)

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8:44am Tue 27 Nov 12

Taskforce 141 says...

Hahaha this story is amusing. I suppose most people would brick it, if they were unaware of the training exercise.

But at the end of the day our guardians need to train, so if the disturb the peace for 30 minutes, so be it.
Hahaha this story is amusing. I suppose most people would brick it, if they were unaware of the training exercise. But at the end of the day our guardians need to train, so if the disturb the peace for 30 minutes, so be it. Taskforce 141

9:28am Tue 27 Nov 12

mikeyt says...

Very amusing story. Wish i'd seen it myself living a couple of streets up from the river.

They probably didn't want an audience so didn't tell the public about the proposed exercise.

“I straight away moved everyone out of the firing line. I was very concerned."

Don't they use blanks so what's the problem. Fireworks make more noise and are more dangerous than Marines on an exercise.

PS I didn't mean that Royal Marines fire blanks ;-)
Very amusing story. Wish i'd seen it myself living a couple of streets up from the river. They probably didn't want an audience so didn't tell the public about the proposed exercise. “I straight away moved everyone out of the firing line. I was very concerned." Don't they use blanks so what's the problem. Fireworks make more noise and are more dangerous than Marines on an exercise. PS I didn't mean that Royal Marines fire blanks ;-) mikeyt

12:10pm Tue 27 Nov 12

wossit says...

mikeyt wrote:
Very amusing story. Wish i'd seen it myself living a couple of streets up from the river. They probably didn't want an audience so didn't tell the public about the proposed exercise. “I straight away moved everyone out of the firing line. I was very concerned." Don't they use blanks so what's the problem. Fireworks make more noise and are more dangerous than Marines on an exercise. PS I didn't mean that Royal Marines fire blanks ;-)
Can you tell the differance from a blank and a live round when its fired then, at night when you can not see the yellow muzzle on the front of the weapon ???
[quote][p][bold]mikeyt[/bold] wrote: Very amusing story. Wish i'd seen it myself living a couple of streets up from the river. They probably didn't want an audience so didn't tell the public about the proposed exercise. “I straight away moved everyone out of the firing line. I was very concerned." Don't they use blanks so what's the problem. Fireworks make more noise and are more dangerous than Marines on an exercise. PS I didn't mean that Royal Marines fire blanks ;-)[/p][/quote]Can you tell the differance from a blank and a live round when its fired then, at night when you can not see the yellow muzzle on the front of the weapon ??? wossit

12:19pm Tue 27 Nov 12

good-gosh says...

Probably the real thing.
Probably the real thing. good-gosh

2:03pm Tue 27 Nov 12

sass says...

The shockwave from a blank will kill if fired close to your head.
The marines would not have been amused if someone with a shotgun felt threatened and returned live fire. There are plenty of remote places to do this exercise, so it was an assinine plan.
The shockwave from a blank will kill if fired close to your head. The marines would not have been amused if someone with a shotgun felt threatened and returned live fire. There are plenty of remote places to do this exercise, so it was an assinine plan. sass

2:16pm Tue 27 Nov 12

birddog38 says...

Sadly Terrorists or War dont just choose to carry out thier activities in "Remote" places!
The general public would soon shout if our guys were not properly trained in urban tactics and were unable to deal with a situation!
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK GUYS!
Your Country Needs You!
Sadly Terrorists or War dont just choose to carry out thier activities in "Remote" places! The general public would soon shout if our guys were not properly trained in urban tactics and were unable to deal with a situation! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK GUYS! Your Country Needs You! birddog38

2:48pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Gospit Handyman says...

sass wrote:
The shockwave from a blank will kill if fired close to your head.
The marines would not have been amused if someone with a shotgun felt threatened and returned live fire. There are plenty of remote places to do this exercise, so it was an assinine plan.
I can believe that local residents would be kept in the dark, but for the police not to know - that doesn't sound like a well planned training exercise - especially in that location. Sounds more like a live incident with a "training exercise" cover story to me.
[quote][p][bold]sass[/bold] wrote: The shockwave from a blank will kill if fired close to your head. The marines would not have been amused if someone with a shotgun felt threatened and returned live fire. There are plenty of remote places to do this exercise, so it was an assinine plan.[/p][/quote]I can believe that local residents would be kept in the dark, but for the police not to know - that doesn't sound like a well planned training exercise - especially in that location. Sounds more like a live incident with a "training exercise" cover story to me. Gospit Handyman

3:29pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Subject48 says...

I think youve seen too many films

Unless...... there are bullet holes from strays..... hmmm.... time to get the magnifying glass and a pipe out the closet!
I think youve seen too many films Unless...... there are bullet holes from strays..... hmmm.... time to get the magnifying glass and a pipe out the closet! Subject48

8:28pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Sir Ad E Noid says...

wossit wrote:
mikeyt wrote:
Very amusing story. Wish i'd seen it myself living a couple of streets up from the river. They probably didn't want an audience so didn't tell the public about the proposed exercise. “I straight away moved everyone out of the firing line. I was very concerned." Don't they use blanks so what's the problem. Fireworks make more noise and are more dangerous than Marines on an exercise. PS I didn't mean that Royal Marines fire blanks ;-)
Can you tell the differance from a blank and a live round when its fired then, at night when you can not see the yellow muzzle on the front of the weapon ???
Yes, one is loud, the other is very loud.
[quote][p][bold]wossit[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mikeyt[/bold] wrote: Very amusing story. Wish i'd seen it myself living a couple of streets up from the river. They probably didn't want an audience so didn't tell the public about the proposed exercise. “I straight away moved everyone out of the firing line. I was very concerned." Don't they use blanks so what's the problem. Fireworks make more noise and are more dangerous than Marines on an exercise. PS I didn't mean that Royal Marines fire blanks ;-)[/p][/quote]Can you tell the differance from a blank and a live round when its fired then, at night when you can not see the yellow muzzle on the front of the weapon ???[/p][/quote]Yes, one is loud, the other is very loud. Sir Ad E Noid

8:38pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Sir Ad E Noid says...

sass wrote:
The shockwave from a blank will kill if fired close to your head.
The marines would not have been amused if someone with a shotgun felt threatened and returned live fire. There are plenty of remote places to do this exercise, so it was an assinine plan.
The discharge from the SA80-A1 with the blank fire attachment, maybe, the discharge from the current issue SA80-A2 with the modified blank fire attachment, no.
[quote][p][bold]sass[/bold] wrote: The shockwave from a blank will kill if fired close to your head. The marines would not have been amused if someone with a shotgun felt threatened and returned live fire. There are plenty of remote places to do this exercise, so it was an assinine plan.[/p][/quote]The discharge from the SA80-A1 with the blank fire attachment, maybe, the discharge from the current issue SA80-A2 with the modified blank fire attachment, no. Sir Ad E Noid

9:48pm Tue 27 Nov 12

TheMysterycat says...

Yes but who won?
Yes but who won? TheMysterycat

2:52am Wed 28 Nov 12

dolomiteman says...

Sir Ad E Noid wrote:
sass wrote:
The shockwave from a blank will kill if fired close to your head.
The marines would not have been amused if someone with a shotgun felt threatened and returned live fire. There are plenty of remote places to do this exercise, so it was an assinine plan.
The discharge from the SA80-A1 with the blank fire attachment, maybe, the discharge from the current issue SA80-A2 with the modified blank fire attachment, no.
Seriously are they still using the SA80-A1's or have they sorted the problem of them locking up if taken within 100yds of water?lol

And SASS wrote 'The marines would not have been amused if someone with a shotgun felt threatened and returned live fire'

Do you know anyone who walks around Southampton with a shotgun?
[quote][p][bold]Sir Ad E Noid[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sass[/bold] wrote: The shockwave from a blank will kill if fired close to your head. The marines would not have been amused if someone with a shotgun felt threatened and returned live fire. There are plenty of remote places to do this exercise, so it was an assinine plan.[/p][/quote]The discharge from the SA80-A1 with the blank fire attachment, maybe, the discharge from the current issue SA80-A2 with the modified blank fire attachment, no.[/p][/quote]Seriously are they still using the SA80-A1's or have they sorted the problem of them locking up if taken within 100yds of water?lol And SASS wrote 'The marines would not have been amused if someone with a shotgun felt threatened and returned live fire' Do you know anyone who walks around Southampton with a shotgun? dolomiteman

2:52am Wed 28 Nov 12

dolomiteman says...

Sir Ad E Noid wrote:
sass wrote:
The shockwave from a blank will kill if fired close to your head.
The marines would not have been amused if someone with a shotgun felt threatened and returned live fire. There are plenty of remote places to do this exercise, so it was an assinine plan.
The discharge from the SA80-A1 with the blank fire attachment, maybe, the discharge from the current issue SA80-A2 with the modified blank fire attachment, no.
Seriously are they still using the SA80-A1's or have they sorted the problem of them locking up if taken within 100yds of water?lol

And SASS wrote 'The marines would not have been amused if someone with a shotgun felt threatened and returned live fire'

Do you know anyone who walks around Southampton with a shotgun?
[quote][p][bold]Sir Ad E Noid[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sass[/bold] wrote: The shockwave from a blank will kill if fired close to your head. The marines would not have been amused if someone with a shotgun felt threatened and returned live fire. There are plenty of remote places to do this exercise, so it was an assinine plan.[/p][/quote]The discharge from the SA80-A1 with the blank fire attachment, maybe, the discharge from the current issue SA80-A2 with the modified blank fire attachment, no.[/p][/quote]Seriously are they still using the SA80-A1's or have they sorted the problem of them locking up if taken within 100yds of water?lol And SASS wrote 'The marines would not have been amused if someone with a shotgun felt threatened and returned live fire' Do you know anyone who walks around Southampton with a shotgun? dolomiteman

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