A tourist beach outside a popular seaside resort may have been sprayed with machine gun fire during training in which a British Army ranger was shot dead.
Machine gun fire was directed towards Freshwater West Beach, near Tenby, West Wales, in a mistake which could have proved lethal.
The beach, well known to surfers, is situated less than one and a half miles (2.4km) along the coast from Castlemartin Ranges where the Army trains recruits. Civilians ran the risk of being shot and killed themselves on the day one soldier died after a fatal error.
Soldiers at the shooting ranges are put through highly realistic exercises designed to be as close to battle conditions as possible. Rifles, machine guns and hand grenades, using live ammunition, are used in what are supposed to be strictly controlled conditions.
But in May last year Michael "Mike" Maguire, 21, was hit in the temple by a single machine gun bullet probably fired from 0.6 miles (1km) away.
Ranger Maguire, originally from County Cork, Ireland, was a member of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment. He was standing in a designated safe haven beyond where live fire training was taking place having just finished an exercise himself.
An inquest jury in Cardiff has previously been to the sprawling series of shooting ranges to see where the tragedy happened. They have heard that soldiers shoot out to sea and within specific map co-ordinates which restrict firing to a narrow channel. Evidence suggests a fellow soldier firing a machine gun at a designated target placed on the range hit ranger Maguire.
Captain Gary Palmer, an Army weapons expert, investigated the tragedy in parallel with the police to ensure later recruits trained safely. He highlighted that soldiers under the command of Lieutenant Jonathan Price had shot outside the safe areas specified.
In particular they shot outside a designated area designed to ensure their bullets were no danger to other soldiers on shooting exercises themselves. It meant a machine gunner attacking a static target placed at the range for the exercise shot over land.
Ranger Maguire, relaxing 0.6 miles (1km) away without his protective helmet and armour, fell within its range. Freshwater (West) Beach, 1.6 miles (2.5km) north west of where the machine gun was placed, was also within the same potentially deadly area. Capt Palmer said the "full weapon danger area" for the machine gun was judged to be 1.8 miles (2.9km).