Navy: 2 sailors to blame for trash washing up on beaches

Faith Castro
June 2, 2017

The Navy determined the trash had come from one of its vessels, and after contacting the ship, a sailor reportedly admitted to throwing the disks overboard, in violation of Navy regulations.

The disks were found washed up on beaches on North Carolina's Outer Banks in mid-May.

Residents in Kill Devil Hills and Corolla reported in May finding several 20-inch disks on the beach.

The Navy acknowledged Thursday that two sailors from a Virginia Beach-based ship wrongly tossed dozens of smelly plastic trash disks overboard that washed ashore last month along the Outer Banks.

"The Navy will take appropriate action", Brown said.

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Shipboard-generated plastic is routinely separated and processed into compressed, melted disks. Markings on the disks confirmed that they had originated from a Navy ship.

After the incident Navy officials said they take environmental stewardship very seriously and by regulation they do not allow ships to dispose of plastic in the ocean.

The Navy recovered 19 disks from the Outer Banks, Brown said, but deputies from the Currituck County Sheriff's Office had already brought an unknown number of the disks to the landfill.

Crews routinely melt and compress plastic waste aboard ships to save space, Brown said in the release, but these are meant to be kept aboard the ship until they can be disposed of ashore.

The Navy later sent a notice to the fleet about proper refuse disposal, he said.

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