ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- Debris from a boat is washing ashore along First Coast beaches.
Some people believe much of it is from a shrimp boat which ran aground in December.
The planks of wood and compartments from a boat have been scattered along the coastline from Fernandina Beach to Volusia County, according to Tom Pitchford, a biologist who flies along the coastline.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, a shrimp boat or trawler called Carolina Girl III ran aground by the jetties of the St. Johns River entrance in Jacksonville December 21st. The two people onboard were rescued and not hurt.
Weeks later, Pitchford and shrimp boat expert Brendan Burke believe that boat has broken up in the ocean and is washing ashore.
Much of the debris has nails projecting from the wood, creating concern for beachgoers such as Rick Crouse.
"You have to watch out for it, especially when you get into the rocks (around Marineland) because you can step off into a nail easily without knowing it," Crouse said.
Pitchford said the debris is consistent with that of the trawler. He provided a photo of a framed document found on a piece of debris found in Ponce Inlet which lists "Carolina Girl III." It was found approximately 100 miles south of Jacksonville.
First Coast News found large pieces of debris along the rocks near Marineland inside Flagler County. Burke studied photos of those pieces and believes at least one of the items belonged to the Carolina Girl III.
Another plank of white-painted wood was found in St. Johns County with the letters C and A on it. Pitchford said it looks just like the lettering on the side of the Carolina Girl III.
St. Johns County Beaches Manager Billy Zeits does not know if the debris is from Carolina Girl III, but he believes it's all from one vessel.
"It's looking like the same pieces of wood, large nails sticking out of it. Looks like it all came from a vessel," Zeits said.
He and his staff and picked up a large amount of it and he is storing it at a county lot.
"Most of it we found around the south beaches around Matanzas inlet," Zeits noted.
Zeits and wildlife experts are concerned these nails in the debris could hurt beachgoers and animals.
"You know it could be somewhat buried in the sand with the recent surf we've had, so we want to make sure we can spot it and get it out of there," Zeits said.
He and his team are working this week to remove more of the boat debris from the beaches.
The Coast Guard has not released who was on board the Carolina Girl III when it ran aground, but they were reported to be safe. There is no word if the boat owners or crew will have to pay for any clean-up costs.