A shiny, metal marine storage tank washed ashore Saturday morning on the west end of Panama City Beach. Officials do believe it's from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion.
"The oil tank was turned over in the surf break .It was leaking oil at the time," Petty Officer Aaron Frost, of the U.S. Coast Guard said.
We're told the 5,000 pound tank can hold up to 550 gallons. A yellow oily substance is inside. On the side of the tank a green and white placard reads BP "Horiz". Which officials say is short for Horizon.
Wayne Dumphy says he actually saw the tank floating in the ocean last night.
"Last night about 11 or 12 o'clock, I was just looking around in the ocean. You could see something shiny in the water about 300 yards away," Dumphy said.
As the tank sat on the beach, people walking near the area began smelling a very strong odor.
"You can definitely smell it. I can see why it could be bad for some people," Bill Little, a visitor said.
A few swimmers complained of having an oily sheen on their bodies. Coast Guard officials then shut off parts of the beach. While containment crews brought in boom.
Then the tank was loaded onto this trailer. It was pretty heavy causing a tractor to go up on one side. This family says after seeing what was happening, they decided to leave.
"It sucks because we've been out in the sun since this morning and now we have to leave," Whitt Wilder, a visitor said.
We're told the tank is being shipped to a big warehouse in Louisiana for an investigation which could take days to figure out what’s exactly inside.
Parts of the beach shut down are now back open to the public.