A mystery sub appeared off the coast of Fort Lauderdale's Highland Beach last week and, after an inspection, the U.S. Coast Guard is still stumped on what it is and where it came from.
The Sun Sentinel reported that the large
, cylindrical metal object was first investigated by Mark Engelhardt, of Austin, Texas, who was visiting his parents when he saw the object jutting out of the water roughly 150 yards from the shoreline.
The 20-foot-long object is about 3.5 feet in diameter, is pointed at the front, and has an orange tail that was easy to see from the coast. Engelhardt, 52, decided to swim out to it on Oct. 26 with his underwater camera.
"We thought it was a buoy or something that fell off a ship. But it's definitely not that," he said. "I come from Texas three times a year to see my parents, to catch some sun, hang out by the pool and then this happens."
When he came upon the object, he discovered two hatches that appear to let people in and out, and discovered that the vessel also housed a six-cylinder engine and a battery.
Engelhardt said it looked like a makeshift submarine, likely used to smuggle drugs or other illegal contraband.
With pictures in hand, Engelhardt convinced the Coast Guard and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office to investigate. Neither could identify the object.
Coast Guard officials said they will put a light on the object's tail for boating safety, but don't plan to tow it anywhere for the time being.
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