Boy, 6, finds Japanese samurai sword in Scottish canal as haul of deadly weapons pulled from water

The samurai sword was discovered by a boy aged six and his father while fishing in the canal in Edinburgh
An image of the Union Canal in Edinburgh. Picture: Scott LoudenAn image of the Union Canal in Edinburgh. Picture: Scott Louden
An image of the Union Canal in Edinburgh. Picture: Scott Louden

A boy pulled a Japanese samurai sword from a Scottish canal at the age of just six as his father spoke of discovering a haul of deadly weapons each year.

Mark McGeachin, 42, said his son James, who is now nine, pulled the sword out of the Union Canal near Sighthill in Edinburgh.

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The pair were dredging the canal for unusual items as members of the Glasgow Magnet Fishing group, which Mr McGeachin set up in 2019.

The father told the Daily Record they had discovered machetes, meat cleavers and axes in their searches of Scotland's rivers and canals.

Mr McGeachin said the hobby had helped educate his son about gangs and knife culture.

"I started Glasgow Magnet Fishing group in 2019 and James was only six at the time,” he told the Daily Record. “Soon after, we were searching the Union Canal near Sighthill in Edinburgh when James pulled this massive samurai sword out the water.

"He was delighted when he got to stand and take the picture with his catch and he's been hooked ever since. But the truth is I take him on these trips to educate him and to get him away from the computer.

"I never know what he is going to face as he's growing up in Glasgow. So when he sees these blades I want him to understand that he should never carry a knife and that he should never try to be a hero if someone pulls one on him. I've told him that if that ever happens, he should just run."

The group typically finds about 100 weapons a year, Mr McGeachin said, with most reported to police. The finds have included four guns, which were among an almost half-tonne haul pulled from a canal in Glasgow.

Mr McGeachin said: "We've already handed seven guns into the police since the beginning of 2024. When we find them, we phone 999 straight away. One time, in Maryhill, we contacted police after I found a machete, a ski mask and a pair of gloves all tied up in a bag and cellotaped together.

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"The mind does boggle, thinking about what has happened with these these weapons before they were found. This stuff could potentially solve a murder and help a family get some closure. That's the way I see it.”

Mr McGeachin said he now wanted to find a piece of Scottish history.

"In the next few months, we are starting to look at different kinds of trips,” he said. “We are going to look for Rob Roy's sword and check out the wreckage of a pirate ship. I'd love to find a proper part of history."