An unmanned homemade raft floating in the New Orleans Industrial Canal prompted officials to shut down the St. Claude Avenue Bridge in the city for several hours yesterday.

The raft, constructed of plastic barrels, also displayed an upside-down American flag. That display and the presence of what appeared to be fuel tanks on the deck of the raft are what prompted the concern. The display of an upside down American flag is usually a sign of distress or danger.

The United States Coast Guard along with Harbor Police managed to push the raft to shore using water cannons. Once onshore investigators began to examine the craft and its contents.

The U.S. Coast Guard is leading the investigation and have not released any details on the origin of the raft, who is responsible for the raft, and why the raft was drifting in the canal. Speculation is that Coast Guard officials will release their findings later today.

The St. Claude Avenue Bridge was reopened to traffic around midnight once the raft had been secured and authorities felt there was not a threat to motorists using the bridge.

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