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Heads Scratch as Mysterious Lift-Boat Appears Near Shore in Flagler Beach

| March 1, 2017

The Lacie G. Eymard liftboat as it resumed its travels south around 8 a.m. this morning, off Flagler Beach. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The Lacie G. Eymard liftboat as it resumed its travels south around 8 a.m. this morning, off Flagler Beach. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Last Updated: Thursday, 7:48 a.m.

At first it looked like an oil rig to Flagler Beach residents Linda and Thomas Hagman, as it did to many others who saw the platform travel from the north end of Flagler Beach to the south end, around South 10th Street, and essentially drop anchor there at sundown.

“It was moving at a clip,” Linda Hagman said, “then it stopped, turned on all its lights, then it lifted itself off the water.”

Flagler Beach City Commissioner Rick Belhumeur had spotted its three pylons north of the pier at 6 p.m. and thought it odd.

The platform is a liftboat, a self-propelled, self-elevating deck barge used to service oil and gas rigs, for seismographic work and construction, but usually in the Gulf of Mexico. EBI Liftboats pioneering the platforms in the 1950s, but an EBI official tonight said the platform does not belong to the company, and said there were about 20 such companies. Another EBI official said liftboats may travel 12 hours in a day, but must then stop and pick up the following day, suggesting that the platform was in transit. The Coast Guard could not be reached tonight.

By Thursday morning, the identity of the liftboat was solved: it is, according to Marine Traffic, the GPS-enabled mapping utility, the Lacie G. Eymard, a 128-foot-long, 132-ton liftboat built in 2014 and belonging to Offshore Marine Contractors of Cutoff, La. Marine Traffic pegs its destination as “Fernandino,” but likely means Fernandina Beach. Since March 1, the boat has been hugging the shore from just north of Jacksonville Beach to its present location.

What is certain, Flagler Beach City Manager Larry Newsom said, is that there’s no oil drilling, exploration or any such related work going on offshore. Eric Cooley, owner of the 7-11 in Flagler Beach, had sent Newsom images of the platform, which at first looked to Newsom like a “mobile oil rig.” Newsom was not aware of any dredging operation locally, and emergency repair work on the Flagler Beach pier has not yet begun.

“Bottom line is,” Newsom said, “you couldn’t do anything subsurface without permits.”

The sun had already set by the time the platform settled in for the night, its identity to distant to make out. (As with planes’ N-numbers, vessels can be identified through identification marks on their hull.)

Bob Pickering of Flagler County Emergency Management said he recalls a similar platform appearing in the 1990s offshore.It looked like a mini oil rig, like a barge up on stilts,” he said, but while he was able to identify it as a liftboat, he was not able to determine its purpose.

Atlantic waters are currently under a five-year moratorium on drilling, but that moratorium expires this year.

“It just gets people out here up in a stir,” Newsom said Thursday morning, the purpose of the boat still unclear. “One thing I can say is it’s not for the pier project.” Emergency repair work on the pier began Wednesday.

The lift boat as it appeared at sundown just south of the pier in Flagler Beach, in an image taken by Eric Cooley, owner of the 7-Eleven in town. Click on the image for larger view. (© Eric Cooley for FlaglerLive)

The lift boat as it appeared at sundown just south of the pier in Flagler Beach, in an image taken by Eric Cooley, owner of the 7-Eleven in town. Click on the image for larger view. (© Eric Cooley for FlaglerLive)


The liftboat as it appeared to Thomas Hagman, who took this picture. Click on the image for larger view. (© Thomas Hagman for FlaglerLive)

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41 Responses for “Heads Scratch as Mysterious Lift-Boat Appears Near Shore in Flagler Beach”

  1. USA Lover says:

    Flagler Beach people are a hoot. It’s none of their business what that craft is doing out there.

  2. DRedder says:

    OK here we go, I’ll start. It must be Trump’s Fault. Let the radical and liberal Leftest carry it…

  3. thelocal says:

    DRedder and USA Lover, both of you should swim out and get on that boat. Of course this beach town and it’s inhabitants should be concerned or at the very least, curious. And just what about this is political? Think of something intelligent to say next time please.

  4. Geee1968 says:

    Name of craft is LACIE G EYMARD on it’s way to Fernandino Beach FL.

  5. Whitefeather says:

    I’m a thousand miles away and know that’s the pier rescue team ! 1 million dollars later

  6. Anonymous says:

    It would seem to me that it would be their, our business seeing as this is the town we live in and being a little curious on what goes on in the waters that are right in front of us doesn’t seem to be an odd thing. Sort of a dick comment you made there, thought it deserved a reply back.

  7. Concerned Citizen says:

    Let’s put a monstrosity in back yard after we voted no offshore obstructions. It is 100% our business.

  8. FLNATIVE says:

    I’ll help DRedder, if there is oil out there, there might be some inland maybe we should by the mineral rights to our land just in case. Hell my neighborhood is starting to suck more and more everyday after 30 years here I’ll do a Jed Clampett except I sure ain’t going to California.

  9. Bob says:

    Why are Flagler people a hoot? Because we are curious of why this boat is in the water right in front of us, never seeing anything like it before. I would say it sort of is our business seeing as this is the town we live in.

  10. Ryan says:

    One, it is people’s business what it is doing out there, and two, no room for politics in the issue.

  11. Ws says:

    Nope it must be Bush’s fault😂😂😂

  12. Anonymous says:


  13. Dee wynne says:

    Really? We think we have the absolute right to know what’s on the craft 50 ft from our shore line
    And if it’s a reconassaince oil rig device we need to know. We are not amused USA lover – you probably own it. How dare you say we’re a hoot like this is a joke yes we can’t wait to get another BP oil rig catastrophe
    Right here in our front yard.

  14. YankeeExPat says:

    Oy Vey!

    The Local Bible Thumpers fear that it might be placement of the World’s First Offshoore Menorah!

    WWJD ?

  15. Gkimp says:

    Russian liftboat comrades!

  16. Norman says:

    It is when you give a shit about the environment.

  17. Algernon says:

    What kind of nincompoop says “it’s none of their business” when a craft like this appears. People want to know if in some way it might present a threat to safety or the environment. This one probably doesn’t threaten anything and may be in transit, but people in shore towns do have good reasons to know what’s happening in their vicinity. An exception might be a military craft on an undercover mission, but absent that, knowing the facts is a good thing.

  18. Norm Mugford says:

    “The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!”

  19. Rich says:

    Going to build a new pirate radio station for Melissa Holland

  20. Flatsflyer says:

    Trump is building his wall, just got the location wrong!

  21. Flagler Beach Resident says:

    Well, yeah we don’t really want oil being drilled just off of our shore…

  22. Richard Smith says:

    Yup…..LOL…..Trump has secretly called for finding oil off the coast of Flagler Beach. But if asked he will lie about it and say it’s Putin’s fault. ROTF.

  23. Mark says:

    It’s the Russians working for Trump!

  24. Cheryl says:

    Remember we had some explosion noises several months ago? and it was dismissed but later admitted off shore. Well the moratorium expire this year for drilling in the Atlantic waters???….explain the reason for this vessel? and why the coast guard could Not be reached??? for comment

  25. david sheehy says:

    UN real…Come on you North wanna be south ones.I was the 3rd house built in 1970 I had to sell my last house in 88..Like a mini NY in Flagler Beach.being ruined like people like you! Let things be!Don’t be so nosey.Lets keep my beach clean,fix the pier.and bust litter bugs on our beach..I’d hate to see if a UFO landed on the water..And leave the nice rocks that people have built ,looks nice😁

  26. shirley says:

    they are looking for treasure

  27. palmcoaster says:

    Be prepared that they sell and contaminate our Atlantic Coast cheap to benefit the greed of former Oil Tycoon Tillerson and Trump buddies and keep on hiding facts and lying to us all the way from Tallahassee to Washington DC…
    Boot Sessions too for lying and treason now over Russia spying and association.

  28. FlaglerLocal says:

    Of course it’s our business! It’s our town, our beach, we raise our kids here.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I wish people would mind their own people.

  30. Flagler Lady says:

    So many silly folks get all riled up and off the track and then there are the people with their incorrect information and the ones who just have to reply whether or not they know what they’re talking about and the people who just try to be funny. Of course it is the business of concerned Flagler’s citizens.

  31. Mark101 says:

    Flagler Beach residents doing what they do best, make up world ending stories and just getting their panties in a bind over nothing.

  32. Brian says:

    It’s a NASA launch pad for Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren, and Maxine Waters.

  33. Dave says:

    Mind ur buisness nosey people

  34. Ken Dodge says:

    “Arrival”, the maritime edition.

  35. Richard Smith says:

    @ Brian – you are a hoot! I love it……

  36. cls says:

    NO oil drilling, NO oil craft, NO sonar imaging here either. GET AWAY FROM FLORIDA! There are enough dead wales washing up on shore all along the Gulf and California, where the military and oil corps blast sonar to test or find oil. This craft should be confisticated here in Florida and the owners made to pay hefty fines.

  37. Chris Brumbaugh says:

    Wasn’t that being repaired in St Augustine?
    I thought I saw that by the Bridge of the Lions several weeks ago

  38. gmath55 says:

    @ Brian – do you mean the three stooges? Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren, and Maxine Waters.

  39. Shark says:

    It’s a stage for little hands hitler !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. Mermaid girl says:

    I’m looking for a place to rest my fins, where can I find this object and are there any men onboard?

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