Mysterious metal box washes up on Florida beach

A mysterious metal box that washed up on a Florida beach might be an old ballast tank from a ship, officials said.

Visitors to Playalinda Beach in Brevard County said they first noticed the large, rusted item in the boardwalk No. 7 area on Friday.

“It looks like an oil drum of some sort, big drum,” witness Tom O’Shea told WKMG-TV.

Kristen Kneifl, resource manager for the Canaveral National Seashore, said officials aren’t sure what the object is, but it might have once served as a ship’s ballast tank — a compartment that holds water to stabilize the vessel.

“That’s our best guess at this point,” Kneifl said.

Kneifl said officials determined the 20-foot-long box is empty, so it does not post a health risk to the public. She said officials are still working on a plan to remove the object.

“Unlike maybe some boats or other things that wash up, where we can kind of chain saw it apart and get it over one of our boardwalks, it doesn’t look like it can be cut up,” Kneifl said. “So, it’s going to have to be removed from the water, from the oceanside.”