The appearance of giant-sized plastic pipes on holiday beaches is an unexpected event in any part of the world. Vast lengths of pipeline, 8ft in diameter, turning up on beaches in Norfolk caused a stir in the media on 10th August, and astonished residents and holiday-makers who were confronted by them between Sea Palling and Winterton. While they could hope to see seals in these parts, these sea monsters were something else!
The unscheduled delivery was part of a consignment of piping in transit from Norway to Algeria. The pipes, up to 480 metres long (1574 feet), were being towed to their destination when the tugboat was in collision with an Icelandic container ship, causing twelve sections of piping to break loose. Four of them beached, the remainder were secured at sea and anchored off the Norfolk coast. Guard vessels were placed to warn passing shipping. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency announced that the plastic pipes pose no danger to the public.
Engineers are planning their removal and return to Norway, but meanwhile curious seals in the area are having fun with them, and the pipes are becoming an attraction for tourists.
Update 16th August 2017 …
Recovery of the beached pipes is underway as explained in this BBC News clip: