A MAGNET fisherman from Musselburgh made a historic discovery in the Union Canal in Edinburgh at the weekend.

James Pearson, 45, of Kilwinning Terrace, who recently launched the Magnet Fishing Musselburgh group, pulled a Second World War bolt action rifle from the waterway on Saturday.

He alerted the police and the gun was taken away by two armed response officers.

Mr Pearson said: “It was in very good condition and still had the leather strap for carrying it attached.”

The former pupil of Musselburgh Burgh Primary School and Musselburgh Grammar School has been magnet fishing for about three years after watching the YouTube channel ‘WW2 Wendal’.

He then made contact with Magnet Fishing Edinburgh and, along with friends, created the official Magnet Fishing Scotland group, which, he said, was the only group worldwide to be legally allowed to magnet fish the Scottish canal system.

Mr Pearson, a hire desk controller for a plant hire company, said: “Magnet fishing is tying a high-powered magnet onto a rope and throwing it into a body of water to remove any metallic items.”

He is hoping to remove anything he sees that will cause harm to local wildlife on the River Esk at Musselburgh, such as shopping trolleys, bikes, scooters and other metal debris.

Access the Magnet Fishing Musselburgh Facebook page at facebook.com/groups/252712490103253