NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. — From South Carolina all the way to the sand at New Smyrna Beach: That's how far the Coast Guard said a giant buoy traveled in the last several weeks before it was removed Thursday morning.
A buoy about the size of a Mack truck and estimated to weigh around 13,000 pounds washed ashore last Friday night.
#Update @USCG Aids to Navigation Team Ponce De Leon Inlet monitored the removal of the red lighted buoy this morning at New Smyrna Beach, FL. The buoy will be transported to Jacksonville, FL. pic.twitter.com/ic0BrRxRiK— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) January 2, 2020
Many clam they saw it first, but Andrew and Jessica Parker said they watched it wash ashore.
At first, the Parkers thought they were seeing things.
“We were drinking the night away, and all of a sudden, we see this. I’m, like, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s a sunken ship.' It’s just a buoy," Jessica Parker said.
The Coast Guard said it lost track of the channel marker earlier this year, and somehow, it found its way from the Carolina coast to New Smyrna Beach. They believe it may have been floating in the Atlantic for up to two years.
The buoy was hauled away Thursday.
“We saw the flatbed and the front-end loader, and we thought we might as well stick around and see how they will remove this,” a beachgoer said.
Crews brought out heavy machinery to remove the buoy.
It took about 45 minutes to get it hooked up, lifted and placed on a flatbed.
The buoy was originally from Port Royal Sound, South Carolina, and was displaced sometime after Hurricane Dorian, according to the Coast Guard.
Officials said the plan is to store the buoy at the local Coast Guard station. Eventually, it will be transported to Jacksonville.
The @USCG is working with the City of New Smyrna Beach and Volusia County to create a plan to remove the red lighted buoy that washed ashore. The buoy, originally from Port Royal Sound, SC, was displaced sometime after Hurricane Dorian. pic.twitter.com/Up6EoofkEb— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) December 30, 2019