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Gulf Fishing

Apparently a commercial fisherman was out in the Gulf to catch grouper and ended up with a Sidewinder on his longline.

The St. Petersburg Times has the story.

MADEIRA BEACH — Commercial fisherman Rodney Salomon ensnared an 8-foot-long missile in his longline while out in the Gulf of Mexico near Panama City late last month.

Salomon tied the missile to the top of his boat, the Bold Venture, and kept it there for the rest of the 14-day fishing trip. He brought the missile ashore Monday evening along with his 5,000 pounds of grouper.

Rodney figured the missile was inert, and he’d keep it as a souvenir.

Only one problem: It was live.

The AIM-9 Sidewinder is a short-range heat-seeking missile normally used in dogfighting. If the warhead had detonated it would definitely have ruined that guy’s day and it’s a long way to shore from where you fish for grouper. The test area is marked on the navigation charts, and there is no point in using inert weapons over the Gulf. If it is used on the Gulf range, it is supposed to go boom.