Boat races expected to go ahead after wartime bomb found in Thames

Updated: 

Organisers of the annual Oxford-Cambridge boat races will decide later whether the event will go ahead after an unexploded Second World War bomb was found near the starting line.

Police were called on Saturday after a member of the public spotted the device in the River Thames near Putney Bridge, yards from where the annual rowing event will get under way.

Marine experts examined the submerged bomb and the races are expected to go ahead as planned.

Race director Michelle Dite said on Saturday: "Any decisions regarding changes to the event will be made in conjunction with the police. No decision will be made today."

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Police were called by a member of the public at approximately 1.50pm on Saturday reporting what they thought to be World War Two ordnance on the Chelsea shoreline by Putney Bridge.

"Officers including the Marine Policing Unit attended. The item is currently submerged."

Thousands of people are expected to line the banks of the Thames to watch the 163rd edition of the Boat Race between the two universities.

The men's event starts at 5.35pm, while the women's race - in its 72nd year - begins at 4.35pm.