Mystery structure spotted off Florida coast was a heavy-lifting barge

A mysterious structure that sparked speculation among Florida residents when it appeared off the state’s coast was revealed to be a heavy-lifting barge getting rid of a shipwreck.

The object, spotted last week off the Palm Beach coast, was variously described by onlookers as resembling the Sydney Opera House, the McDonald’s golden arches, a giant Erector set or a floating amusement park ride.

The structure has now been revealed as the VB-10,000, a 250-foot-high heavy lifting barge that had been working for about a year to remove the wreckage of the 656-foot-long Golden Ray cargo ship, which capsized near St. Simons Sound, Ga., in September 2019.

Officials said the barge passed by Palm Beach on its way back to the Gulf of Mexico, where it is used in the offshore energy sector.