MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – Many people leave South Carolina vacation destination Myrtle Beach with a souvenir. For a family in Ireland, an unwanted souvenir left the city, traveled thousands of miles and found them when a barnacle-crusted city trash bin washed ashore.
Keith McGreal shared the photos with Myrtle Beach officials, who then posted about it on Facebook. McGreal said the can washed up on Mulranny Beach on the west coast of Ireland, more than 3,500 miles away.
The traveling trash barrel – decorated in barnacles, salt, and a whole lot of sand – appears to be a multi-use receptacle, with Myrtle Beach city stickers on both sides, one reading “recycle only” and the other “trash only.”
“It hadn’t really registered how far that was,” McGreal told Nexstar’s WBTW, adding that he and his family visit Mulranny Beach every chance they get.
“My son, he’s 6, and he said, ‘Daddy, let’s have a race,'” McGreal said. So, we saw something in the distance we thought was some sort of object.”
Standing out on the broad expanse of sand was the solitary, blue bin. When they got close, McGreal saw the stickers.
“I said, Myrtle Beach, do you know where that is?” McGreal said. “My kid said ‘where is it?’ I said, that’s over in America … [He] said, ‘Really? How did it get here?’ And I said ‘across the sea.'”
The barrel somehow managed to stay afloat. McGreal reached out to city officials about the discovery, and the resulting post has been shared hundreds of times on Facebook.
“That’s an amazing voyage for a trash barrel, although we’d prefer that it stayed put on our beach, rather than gallivanting all over the world via the Gulf Stream,” the city wrote.
It’s unclear when the bin went missing, but the city said it was likely during a storm.
“We’ve already had a city employee volunteer to come fetch it,” the city wrote.
McGreal said he’s never been to Myrtle Beach, but he may have some encouragement next time he’s on this side of the pond.
McGreal also said there aren’t any trash barrels on Mulranny Beach and he’s talking to officials there to see if it can be put to good use. If not, he has even offered to attempt to return the barrel to Myrtle Beach.