Shipping was on alert today after two Second World War bombs were dredged up two miles off the entrance to a busy port.

Royal Navy bomb disposal experts boarded the Arco Dee at 4am today as she lay anchored two miles south-west of Newhaven harbour.

The bombs became tangled in the net of the dredging vessel as it was digging up sand for the construction industry at just before midnight.

Coastguards issued a warning to any boats in the area to stay clear for at least one nautical mile.

Divers were expected to return the bombs to the seabed to carry out a controlled explosion. Newhaven tug Nore Commodore was standing by to warn other vessels. Coastguards were also broadcasting half-hourly alerts to shipping.

A coastguard spokesman said: "Dredgers do still come across things like this in this part of the world. Most bombs are redundant but there's always the chance one might be active."

The operation was expected to continue for the rest of the day.