NEW YORK, June 30 (UPI) -- Unexploded ammunition at the bottom of New York Harbor near the base of the Verrazano Bridge may have been there for more than 50 years, a diver said.
Gene Ritter discovered the ammunition in October, the New York Daily News reported Thursday. He said it is in less than 20 feet of water near the tower at the Brooklyn end of the bridge.
Ritter said the ammunition may have been in Gravesend Bay longer than the bridge, which was completed in 1969, 10 years after construction began. He believes the ammunition is the cargo of a military barge that broke from its mooring in a storm in 1954.
U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., who represents a Staten Island district, urged Leon Panetta, who takes over as defense secretary this week, to get the ammunition removed.
Ritter does not believe the ammunition is a threat to public safety because it will not explode if water has gotten inside the cartridges.
Boaters have been warned to stay away from the area, just in case.