Flotsam and jetsam comes in all shapes and sizes, but not much gets bigger than this pneumatic shipping fender, which washed up north of Greymouth during stormy weekend weather.

Measuring 3m long and 1.8m high, the pressurised rubber buoy was decked out with chains and tyres and had obviously been used as a resting place for seabirds during its ocean voyage.

Such devices are used for large vessel berthages and oil rigs. The rigs in Bass Strait are a likely candidate from where it may have come adrift, but it could also have been from further afield given the southern ocean currents.

It may also have simply fallen off a large ship.


The fender took some effort to retrieve from Rapahoe Beach before the next tide took it away. But a V8 and several pairs of hands eventually hauled it on to a large vehicle trailer. The next thing is to find a garden big enough to put it in.

- The Greymouth Star