After exactly two months of being stuck in the sands of Agate Beach in Newport, the Japanese dock, in all five pieces, are in suburban Portland, waiting to become road gravel.
The transformation of the dock to road building material is a bit abrupt, but from the viewpoint of Ballard Diving and Salvage, it was a battle they waged with a very stubborn dock that fought valiantly to stay put. But through perseverance and hard work, the company swatted away broken saw beads, tough metals to saw through, pesky high tides, failing mounting plates, and a popped semi drive line. They got through it all, never letting any of it break their stride. Yes, they expected to be off the beach by Saturday, but as Scott Korab of Ballard said, “It’s all a learning experience. Every single salvage job is unique.”
A piece of the dock will be blended into a memorial in South Beach, dedicated to those lost in the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami. It will be built on the grounds of the Hatfield Marine Science Center.
The departure of the Japanese dock from Newport is yet another chapter in the aftermath of the horrific Japanese Earthquake and following tsunami that killed nearly 15,000 Japanese mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, grandparents and pets. The dock’s sorrowful symbol is now gone. But the dock will live on in the memories of the tens of thousands who flocked to Newport to see and touch a piece of history, if not the whole of humanity, that reminded us of the miracle life and how suddenly and violently it be taken from anyone.
Newport Master Gardener Liz Olsen snapped a couple of great shots of the final run for the Japanese Dock…the seaward end section of the dock. It’s estimated that this end piece may weigh 40 tons on it’s own. Total weight of the dock was calculated to be 188 tons.
Liz Olsen photos