Visitors to some British beaches are in for a surprising sight when they head to the coast for some sun, sea and sand: four enormous plastic pipes have washed ashore along the East Anglian coast.
The brand new bore pipes were being towed to Algeria, where they were “destined for a large project,” according to a statement from the UK’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA).
But before they could reach their destination, they came loose and were carried off on the tide, coming ashore at Horsey, Sea Palling and Eccles-on-Sea, on the north Norfolk coast.
The largest of the pipes is 480 meters (1,575 feet) long; the other smaller sections measure up to 200 meters (656 feet) each.
The agency said a further eight pipes were “under control” offshore.
A recovery operation is underway to re-float the four beached sections of pipe and return them to their manufacturers in Norway.
The MCA said the removal process may take several weeks but added that “other than their physical presence,” the pipes were unlikely to pose a pollution threat to the area.