The Coast Guard has ended its search for what was reported to be a second Japanese floating dock slowly gliding down the northern Oregon Coast.
The dock pictured above is a photo that apparently never made it into the hands of law enforcement or the news media, that is, until testerday. It was delivered to the Tillamook Headlight Herald by a fisherman who had gotten it from another fisherman, after being told that it was a recent photograph. As it turned out the photo had been snapped in early June just before a Japanese floating dock came ashore at Agate Beach, north of Newport.
So, it was perhaps more of a misunderstanding than a deliberate hoax. However, the good part of the story is that the Governor’s Task Force on Tsunami Debris swung into action and was busy making sure the dock didn’t make landfall anywhere and was considering a plan to take it farther out to sea where it could be scuttled safely. But not before, as it turns out, researchers at Hatfield Marine Science Center had a chance to send divers under and around it to scrape the invasive critters from it. Researcher Dr. John Chapman, under the impression at the time that the dock was actually out there, said that the information they’re getting from the first batch of invasive species is quite surprising and that a second load would have created a better framework of analysis on species migration, reproductive behavior and other information to shed light on the dock’s role as a modern day Noah’s Ark that managed to keep it’s sealife alive and reproducing on the trip over. Also which species did better than others.
At any rate…if nothing else it was a really good drill.