VIRGINIA BEACH — Croatan resident Patrick McLaughlin likes taking images on the seashore and sharing them on social media. His current footage of dolphins, an osprey and a lightning storm garnered tons of of hearts and smiley faces.

So when McLaughlin spied an object on the seashore Tuesday evening that he’d by no means seen, he shortly grabbed his digital camera.

“It was foggy as hell, and I noticed this large factor floating round,” he stated.

It was a big, black ship fender — the scale of small automotive — washed up on the seashore with waves crashing round it.

In true McLaughlin fashion, he posted it with a unusual caption.

“This appears to be like like a fishing bobber of the gods!,” he quipped within the submit.

By Wednesday morning, extra Croatan residents had alerted authorities.

Metropolis workers checked with native navy installations to see in the event that they have been lacking a ship fender, however they weren’t, in keeping with Zachary Corbell, assistant superintendent of town of Virginia Seaside’s dredge operations.

Corbell surmised that it possible broke free from a dock or port. With a storm on the best way on the finish of this week and tough seas forecasted, he determined to take away it Wednesday afternoon.

Metropolis dredge operations personnel, together with the police division’s marine patrol, pulled it off the seashore and towed it.

McLaughlin took a number of extra images earlier than town hauled the fender away. He solely needs he may have saved the massive bobber as a memento.

“If I may have gotten it in my yard, I’d have,” he stated.

Stacy Parker, 757-222-5125,