Possible New Japanese Tsunami Debris Investigated At Long Beach

Apr 23, 2014

State park rangers on Washington's Long Beach peninsula are investigating a new possible case of Japanese tsunami debris. This happened after a beachcomber found a 20-foot skiff encrusted with seaweed and gooseneck barnacles.

Park rangers are investigating the origin of this skiff found near Long Beach, Wash., on Wednesday morning.
Credit Washington State Parks

It resembles earlier derelict boats traced back to the March 2011 tsunami. Pacific County Emergency Management Director Stephanie Fritts said it's possible this new arrival floated in the ocean for three years.

"It makes me wonder how much more is out there. How long is this migration or circulation of potential tsunami debris going to occur?" Fritz said.

No identifying marks have been found on this derelict skiff so far. That could make it hard to confirm the boat's origin. The skiff will be checked for invasive species. That's a known risk from Japanese tsunami debris.

Washington State Parks spokeswoman Virginia Painter cautions against drawing any conclusions.

"These things do wash up from time to time. It's not really out of the ordinary and therefore not necessarily tsunami related," Painter said.

More examples of confirmed Japanese tsunami debris found on Wash. Coast:

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