Bye-bye buoy: Large beacon removed from Florida beach

REMOVES REFERENCE TO MOVING THE BUOY ON MONDAY - Beachgoers inspect a navigational marker that washed up on the beach last week in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Saturday, Dec. 27, 2019. A Coast Guard spokesman said the marker originated in South Carolina. The marker seems to have been on a journey for about two years. (Casmira Harrison/The Daytona Beach News-Journal via AP) (Casmira Harrison)

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, FL – A large red navigation buoy that escaped from the Atlantic Ocean for the second time was removed Thursday from a Florida beach where it had become something of a tourist attraction.

Crews with a flatbed truck removed the nearly 7-ton (6.35-metric-ton) buoy from New Smyrna Beach, where it came ashore last week, news outlets reported.

The beacon is originally from South Carolina and broke free of its mooring during Hurricane Irma in 2017, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported. The buoy landed on Hilton Head Island.

It was put back into commission in the mouth of the Port Royal Sound and stood its ground for a while until sometime after Hurricane Dorian in 2019, when the buoy was forced off its mooring again.

The buoy will be taken to a Coast Guard station for evaluation of whether it can be used again, officials said.


This story has been corrected to show the buoy had not been missing for two years, as previously reported.