A BRAVE fisherman who caught a Nazi depth charge in his nets told how he feared the mine would EXPLODE as he raised it from the seabed.

Glenn Gallagher accidentally caught the parachute mine as he worked - sparking a full scale emergency alert on the waters off Largs.

He told how his fishing boat almost capsized such was the weight of the explosive device as it was being pulled out of the sea.

The WW2 explosive was accidentally picked up on Thursday lunchtime, sparking a huge emergency response from the MOD explosives unit as a 700m exclusion zone was placed around Glenn's vessel.

Glenn exclusively told the News of the dramatic moment when he unknowingly scooped an unwanted Christmas present out of the sea.

The explosive was netted on the stretch of coastline north of Largs near Greenock Road and had been sitting there for around 75 years, experts believe.

Glenn said: "I thought it was some sort of boiler at first and we got a big large boulder which hit deck along with depth charge.

"I am just glad it never went off on us to be honest.

"I heard it made bit of a bang on Friday morning when they blew it up, so it was clearly still live.

"The smell of explosives was horrific when we brought it on board.

"We have had a few like this during me years 29 years at sea.

"Most places we get stuff like that is in the Clyde as there was an ammunition dump south of wee Cumbrae, but that was just out Greenock Road in Largs.

"When we pulled it out the weight nearly tipped us over. The bottom of the boat went right over, we nearly capsized."

The Royal Navy were based at the Largs RNLI base overnight into Thursday morning before they took the bomb out to sea to safely detonate it offshore.

A Royal Navy spokesman said: "We can confirm that Royal Navy clearance divers from Northern Diving Group (NDG), based at HM Naval Base Clyde, were called to assist.

"The team examined the item and it was found to be a Mark 7 World War Two depth charge.

"The team took the item back to sea, around one mile from the coast, and placed it in 27 metres of deep water.

"They then dived down to the ordnance, placed explosive charges and carried out a controlled explosion. The disposal was completed around 10am on Friday."

A Belfast Coastguard spokesman said: "We informed the MOD after being alerted to the matter and then it was arranged for somewhere to meet just north of Great Cumbrae and the Navy took it from the fishing boat.

"An exclusion zone was put around it of around 700m and we put broadcasts out reminding all vessels to keep clear of it."

The coastguard explained that the reason that the Navy waited till the following morning to detonate the depth charge in safe waters was because it was getting too dark once they had arrived on the scene.

The spokesperson said: "By the time the Navy had got down and inspected it, it was too late in the day to dispose of it.

"It was placed in an area one kilometre north of Great Cumbrae, where it was safely detonated."