Mystery deepens over HUGE objects washing up on Australian beaches – as another massive item appears just hours after a 20,000 litre drum was pulled from the ocean in Sydney’s east
- Fears over massive drum that washed up on Newcastle Beach north of Sydney
- Fire crews closed beach for several hours, fearing drum contained harmful acid
- Contents of drum were later declared safe while its origin remains unknown
- Comes after 20,000 litre drum washed up on Sydney’s Coogee Beach on Friday
A second mysterious oil drum has washed up along Australia’s east coast within just 48 hours, forcing a popular beach north of Sydney to close.
The massive drum, originally feared to contain hydrochloric acid, ended up along the Newcastle Beach shoreline on Sunday in the wake of widespread flooding across New South Wales.
The mystery occurred two days after a similar 20,000 litre water tank washed up on Sydney’s Coogee Beach.
Both are believed to have washed up after days of flooding inundated people’s homes along the Hawkesbury River, leaving items floating out to sea.
Fire and Rescue NSW were called to Newcastle’s main beach on Sunday afternoon and ordered shocked beachgoers to get out of the water during the clean up operation.
NSW Fire and Rescue hazardous materials team siphons off the liquid from the 1000 litre drum marked for hydrochloric acid into the safe orange plastic bins. It turned out to be oil
Hazardous materials crews rushed to the scene, amid fears the drums contained hydrochloric acid, known for its irritating odour which can cause chemical burns to the skin, eye damage and blindness.
‘As a precautionary measure, crews closed Shortland Esplanade temporarily while hazardous materials crews could work to safely contain and remove the contents of the drum,’ a Fire and Rescue NSW statement read.
The beach was reopened three hours later after hazmat crews removed the drum’s contents.
‘While the origin of the drum remains unknown, the area has now been made safe,’ the statement added.
It’s understood the drum contained oil.
A 200m exclusion zone was set up on Newcastle Beach as the hazmat crews investigated
There were similar scenes at Coogee Beach in Sydney’s eastern suburbs on Friday.
Stunned beachgoers thought a whale was heading into shore but became even more confused as the object hit the sand.
Lifesavers at Coogee Beach were on high alert after they spotted the mysterious shape, which turned out to be a 20,000 litre drum.
The large shape could be seen in the water off Coogee Beach in Sydney’s east on Friday (pictured)
Once the item washed ashore lifesavers realised the object was in fact a 20,000 litre tank (pictured)
After the tank was dragged up the beach and safely cordoned off with orange traffic cones, the strange sight sparked a flurry of interest online.
‘I thought it was an art installation,’ one person joked on Instagram.
‘That’s a huge thing to get washed to sea!’ another person said.
‘We saw this or another one floating off Bondi,’ another person said.
Randwick Council removed the tank with the help of a front-end loader and still remained perplexed as to exactly where the item had travelled from.
Some perplexed beachgoers thought the tank might have been an art installation (pictured)