Published: 00:01, 10 March 2018
A metal buoy as tall as a double-decker bus has washed ashore in a storm after breaking from its moorings... all the way from France.
The Thermo Number Seven navigational buoy was discovered on a Romney Marsh beach after Storm Emma and the Beast from the East hammered down on Kent.
Pharmacy assistant Ellie Draper, 21, from New Romney, was walking her dog Coco on St Mary’s Bay beach when she came across the yellow and grey object.
She said: “It’s huge. “I honestly thought it was a buoy that had been washed up from all the bad weather that we have recently had.
“Then my dad said it looks like it’s supposed to record the temperature and flow of the sea.
“I walked all around it, and it was covered in mussels and seaweed.”
Nature expert Owen Leyshon of the Romney Marsh Countryside Project highlighted the potential dangers of the rogue buoy coming loose.
Weighing at least several tonnes it could have easily struck a ship, he said.
“The thing is massive and it is dangerous to shipping. If it came hurtling into a ship you’re certainly going to know about it. “We thought it had arrived from Belgium.
It just goes to show how strong those gales were, it they broke the buoy from its moorings.
“If the council try to remove it from the beach they will have to use a crane, and the problem is you can’t let it go back out to sea.”
The floating device, used to help navigate ships safely, remains on the bay just off Dymchurch Road.
An SDC spokesman said they are aware of the situation and have notified the coastguard.
She said: “We are aware of it. “It’s a French channel marker buoy. HM Coastguard is aware.
“We are waiting to hear back from the French Marine Authority to see if it’s possible that the buoy could be towed back to sea as this would be the simplest way of removing it from the beach.”
She added it would be the most cost effective solution as the council wouldn’t have to shell out for a crane and other equipment to remove it.
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