08/04/2016 3:23 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Seabay Auction Sells Washed Up Ocean Items For Charity


How much would you fork out for a single, pre-owned Havaiana (right foot) that was found washed up on the Australian coast? Because at the time of writing, it was going for $36.

In a bid to raise funds for the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard, a new initiative with eBay (aptly titled Seabay) has put the pre-loved thong up for auction, along with a host of other seaworthy items, either donated or found -- yes, you guessed it -- washed up somewhere on the coastline.

The spoils vary from a $70,000 coast guard boat with trailer to a broken surfboard signed by Kelly Slater, to a one dollar snorkel and mask set. The profits will go back to the coast guard, a volunteer run organisation (operating entirely on donations) which is said to have successfully made more than 1,500 rescues in the past 12 months alone.

While the Seabay premise is undoubtedly unique, the question of whether someone will actually fork out for a single thong or a piece of "vintage" driftwood priced at $50 yet to be seen. But Commodore of the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard, Ray Campbell, has the highest of hopes.

This piece of driftwood is up for grabs.

"I think it's a fabulous concept, and the collaboration with eBay has certainly been an exciting development for us," Campbell told The Huffington Post Australia. "It's the first time we've ever thought of taking things that we at Coast Guard -- or any other marine organisation for that matter -- get left with after a job. All we have ever done before is stored it.

"To have the opportunity to create Seabay, where we can showcase everything from a single flip flop to a currently serving rescue vessel online is absolutely fabulous. It's great for buyers too, who have the opportunity, for example, to buy a functional boat in very good nick at an affordable price."

Once the initial idea was in place, Campbell says "it just snowballed from there". He also states it makes a welcome change from more traditional forms of fundraising he argues are overdone.

"We are really excited about it, as it's a new opportunity for us to gain sorely needed funds," Campbell said. "I think the normal ways of fundraising are getting stale. I think the community is tired of being asked for handouts all the time. Everyone is looking for support.

"At the coast guard, we are entirely, from top to bottom, a fully volunteer organisation. Everything we raise goes into managing the organisation and keeping boats and people active, doing the job they trained for. And it is an incredible amount of training.

"We operate every day of the week and are on call 24/7. We have safety patrols in different areas, we operate communication networks so people who are out fishing can have communication with land, we help with the safety aspects for organisations running water-type events.

"The work we do, a lot of people would be quite surprised at."

So if you're a die-hard Kelly Slater fan and want a signed souvenir, or hold a particular appreciation for vintage driftwood, or just want to support a bunch of Aussie volunteers -- head here to check out their seaworthy swag.