Mystery Buoy washes up off the shores of Beach Drive

Earlier this week, while we were on vacation, we received these photos from Kimberly. This research buoy washed up on the shores along 5500 Beach Drive SW.

research buoy


research buoy 2

West Seattle Blog has reported this from King County:

King County Environmental Laboratory employees are looking into how a water-quality- data-collection buoy came loose from its mooring before washing ashore along West Seattle on June 29.

The buoy and its host of environmental sensors had been in place off Point Williams since July 2013 and automatically transmitted a wealth of important data about environmental conditions. King County employees were notified early in the morning of June 29 that the buoy was ashore along the 5400 block of Beach Drive SW, south of Me-Kwa-Mooks Park…

Exactly how the buoy came loose from its mooring remains a mystery. The buoy was secured off Point Williams by nearly 1,200 pounds of weight, including two railroad wheels and a heavy gage steel chain that was attached to the buoy by a shackle mechanism….


  1. What fascinates me the most about this isn’t that the buoy broke loose and washed ashore but, the importance of what it does and the amount of weight that it had to break free from in order to wash ashore.

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