Coffee cans wash ashore on a Florida beach by the thousands. People who visited the beach in St. Lucie and Indian River counties couldn’t believe the coffee cans and the other items found near the water as Floridans received a caffeine overload from Cafe Bustelo, according to USA Today.
So why did these items wash ashore in the first place? Investigators are trying to figure that out. Hundreds of orange packages of chicken-flavored ramen noodle soup, coffee, dog food, plastic bottles and more were found along Florida’s east coast from lost shipping containers in the ocean.
For the next day or two, waves and winds are expected to wash up more of the household materials that have been showing up in northern St. Lucie and Indian River counties. Some of the same items, including bottles of cooking oil, laundry detergent and soaked paper towels, found in Brevard County earlier this week.
The coffee cans washing ashore are part of a field of materials, including some that are potentially hazardous, drifting north-northwest from about 25 large metal shipping containers that fell off a flat-topped barge about 30 miles off the coast, south of Port Canaveral.
The 340-foot Columbia Elizabeth barge was headed from Port Canaveral to Puerto Rico until it was diverted to the Port of Palm Beach on Sunday after the crew of its 136-foot tug boat, the Capt Latham, saw several cargo containers hanging over the side and sliding into the water, according to Coast Guard officials.
TOTE Maritime of Jacksonville chartered the Columbia Elizabeth. TOTE was in the news during the fall when its cargo ship, El Faro, went missing Oct. 1 during Hurricane Joaquin with 33 people aboard.
So far none of the containers lost this week have been found. The Coast Guard, which conducted an aerial search Tuesday between Palm Beach and Cape Canaveral for the missing containers, is asking boaters to be looking for them, too.
Ann Marie Loveridge of Fort Pierce was on her way to work in Vero Beach on Wednesday when she stopped at Queens Island Park beach to pick up items that had washed ashore on North Hutchinson Island. An hour later, she loaded into her minivan a plastic bag full of ramen noodle soup, Cuban Cafe Pilon and dog food that she planned to drop off at H.A.L.O. Rescue in Sebastian.
“What kind of environmentalist would I be if I left that on the beach?” Loveridge said. At the same beach, a surfer put several vacuum-packed bricks of coffee cans that washed ashore into his truck. Although most of the coffee was gone from Treasure Coast beaches by Wednesday afternoon, packages of Ramen noodle soup and different kinds of empty plastic bottles remained tangled in the seaweed at the dune lines.