A suspected "bomb" found at Hampden, North Otago at the weekend turned out to be just a downed weather-monitoring device.
Senior Sergeant Jason McCoy, of Oamaru, said a "suspicious" parcel was spotted on Hampden Beach and reported to police at 1.40pm on Sunday.
It had wires sticking out of it.
The bomb squad was alerted, but was stood down after a local policeman identified the package as being a scientific device.
"It turned out to be a Niwa atmospheric monitoring device. It had probably fallen off a weather balloon and was washed in by the sea."
The device was returned to Niwa, he said.
It was a "good reminder" for people to report to police any suspicious package that they suspect might be a bomb.