Mysterious box found floating off NT coast: 'Stuff of nightmares'

·News Reporter
·2-min read

A fishing crew off Australia’s north coast has been left speechless after coming across a mystery item floating in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

“Holy shiver me timbers,” a man can be heard saying as he films the “big box” bobbing just metres from his boat.

“Man if you ran into that at night…” he trails off, while a woman states that it would leave “a decent hole”.

As the camera continues to track the large steel container, the crew can be heard discussing what to do with it.

A crew member from the Wildcard jumped in for a closer look but couldn't get the box open. Source: ABC
A crew member from the Wildcard jumped in for a closer look but couldn't get the box open. Source: ABC

“We might have to try tow that in, you can't just leave that there,” the first man claims.

“Whatever it is, it’s a danger to navigation so we have to report it. That was like rife on our track.”

“Lucky it wasn't nighttime,” someone else says, “we would have smashed into that.”

While another crew member claims “that is the stuff of nightmares at night”.

Locked box leaves fishing crew stunned

Those onboard the Wildcard fishing vessel told the ABC that they spotted the large container to the northeast of Groote Eylandt.

“It’s about five metres by three metres by four metres, it’s a sizable chunk of steel,” Tiger Davey said.

“It must be a bit empty because it is floating just below the surface, bobbing in and out of the water.”

He added that the Wildcard pulled up alongside the box before a crew member jumped in to suss out the find.

Unfortunately they weren’t able to open its hatch to check what was inside.

But the crew has its own guesses.

“We think it’s a fuel pod or some sort of storage pod because it has some lifting lugs and a big hatch on the top,” Mr Davey said.

Being too heavy to tow, those onboard the Wildcard tied a marker buoy to the mystery object, before flagging it with maritime authorities.

Tiger Davey from the Wildcard crew had a few ideas of what could be inside the box. Source: ABC
Tiger Davey from the Wildcard crew had a few ideas of what could be inside the box. Source: ABC

Waste watch

As a major shipping route, the Gulf of Carpentaria is known as a hotspot for debris due to its global ocean currents

Maritime Safety NT has since issued a safety warning to vessels in the area to keep an eye out for the mystery container.

“All vessels in the vicinity to keep a sharp lookout and navigate with extreme caution," the warning read.

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