noun - Flotsam is (1) wreckage or cargo that remains afloat after a ship has sunk, (2) floating refuse or debris, or (3) discarded odds and ends.
The swimmer ran into flotsam that startled her during the race.
Anglo-Norman floteson, from Old French floter, to float, of Germanic origin; see pleu- in Indo-European roots.
Flotsam versus Jetsam
In maritime law, flotsam applies to wreckage or cargo left floating on the sea after a shipwreck. Jetsam applies to cargo or equipment thrown overboard from a ship in distress and either sunk or washed ashore. The common phrase flotsam and Jetsam is now used loosely to describe any objects found floating or washed ashore.