Barcelona’s busy Sant Sebastia was packed with people enjoying the sun and 30-degree day when an off-duty police diver who was swimming in the area came across the suspected metre-long bomb.
Authorities evacuated one of the Spanish city’s popular beaches Sunday after finding the possibly explosive device there.
Reports indicated it was an old, possibly wartime device and was underwater off the coast.
Police tweeted that “a possible explosive device was found” by officers at the Sant Sebastià beach, around a kilometer from the city’s famous Gothic quarter.
Barcelona TV channel Beteve reported the beach was evacuated as a precaution and cordoned off, while people were told not to go into the sea.
It cited several unidentified sources saying the device was suspected of being a bomb left over from the Spanish Civil War.
Private news agency Europa Press said police couldn’t confirm when the device was from but confirmed it wasn’t from recent times.
The device was three meters (nearly 10 feet) deep and about 25 meters (80 feet) off the beach, Europa Press said.
Navy divers were due to defuse and move it, but weren’t expected to be at the scene until Monday, according to Europa Press.
The beach was reportedly full of people when it was evacuated in the early afternoon, with temperatures close to 30 C (86 F).