A scientific buoy was among the flotsum that washed up on South Beach when the remnants of Hurricane Irene passed over the Island two weeks ago. Susan Snider found the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution buoy on last Sunday and submitted the photograph to the Gazette.

Janet Fredericks, an operations manager for the institution, wrote and said it was a guard buoy, a marker used to alert and keep vessels away from the underwater scientific gear beneath. The institution maintains a sub-sea observatory along with a shoreside weather observatory.

Information on the observatory is viewable on the Web at whoi.edu/mvco. The lost buoy is one of two offshore buoys marking the sub-sea observatory.

It was due to be replaced with a refurbished buoy earlier this year, Ms. Fredericks said.