THE discovery of a drum washed up on the beach at Moonee yesterday sparked an emergency response.
A passerby who discovered the drum contacted police, who in turn called in hazardous materials crews from Coffs Harbour Fire Station.
Emergency personnel had to wade across Moonee Creek and walk up the beach to reach the drum.
Coffs Harbour Fire Station commander, Sam Walker, said the drum had its lid off, and inside was oil which had been emulsified by sea water.
The drum had writing which said lube oil for gasoline and diesel engines.
Mr Walker said it was possible the drum belonged to a passing ship.
Fire officers retrieved the drum and took it to the Englands Road waste depot.