He eventually convinced them it was likely from the spaceship, and they turned back and began hauling in the objects, while recording video. Here's video from the in-flight abort test, which likely created the debris found by Stokes:
Stokes and his friends said the door was easy to pull up but the parachutes were more of an ordeal.
"After 40 minutes or so of wrestling with it, inches by inches, we finally pulled it all up," Stokes said in the video (which was shot vertically instead of horizontally, derf).
This is not the first spotting of rocket debris off the Volusia County coast, and with many more launches by private corporations ahead, it likely won't be the last.