Forty ton piece of last summer’s Japanese Tsunami Dock Sits on a trailer enroute to being cut up and turned into two memorials
Newport City Councilors learned Monday night that what started out as a 40 ton snafu is morphing into two Japanese Tsunami Memorials for Newport. Newport Public Works Director Tim Gross told the council that a 40 ton end section of last summer’s Japanese Tsunami dock was planned to be cut up into smaller pieces and transported to Hatfield Marine Science Center at South Beach as part of a larger tsunami science display.
Gross said Hatfield Marine Science Center personnel didn’t realize how big the section of dock was, when it authorized its transport to the HMSC Visitor’s Center. A quick pow-wow of center chiefs determined that rather than bring it over the bridge to Hatfield, it should be taken somewhere else temporarily where it could be cut up into more manageable sized pieces. McClain Point at the International Terminal became the primary landing place it. Gross says they’re arranging to have the dock yield two memorial pieces; one for Hatfield, the other for the Newport Bayfront Merchants Association who also want to build a memorial in honor of the Japanese who lost their lives during the earthquake and tsunami in March of 2011.
Gross said once the two pieces are cut away, they’ll grind up the rest of the dock for either rip rap or road material. The plan is to have the Hatfield memorial ready to dedicate on March 10th, the day, our time, when the quake and ensuing tsunami struck the east coast of central Japan.
The Coast Guard says the overturned sport boat reported yesterday two miles off Agate Beach has drifted about mile north to where it’s now off Moolack Beach about two miles. The boat is white with a blue hull. A Coast Guard helicopter crew hovering overhead estimated it to be between 20 and 30 feet in length. It’s been in the water for a very long time in that it’s covered with a large quantity of marine growth.
Newport Police Chief Mark Miranda says there was a report of an overturned boat in the water considerably north of Oregon earlier in the week that was determined NOT to be Japanese Tsunami debris.
The Coast Guard is monitoring the vessel’s movements. The Coast Guard warning was aimed at all mariners in the vicinity to be on the lookout so they don’t hit it.
The Coast Guard finally managed to track down the whereabouts of what is believed to be the fourth and final missing Japanese Tsunami dock that chartered thousands of miles of ocean surface after the 2011 Japanese Tsunami ripped through the fishing town of Misawa, Japan.
The dock was spotted by fishermen drifting between a couple of Hawaiian Islands late last summer but then disappeared. It didn’t show up until a fishing vessel spotted it off the coast of Washington earlier this month. The Coast Guard found it beached on a lonely wilderness rocky beach north of the Hoh River on the Washington Peninsula, within the Olympic National Park.
Japanese dock #4 off Washington (top)
Japanese dock #3 ashore at Agate Beach (bottom)
Reports say that the earlier spotted Japanese fish-unloading dock, torn away by the Japanese Tsunami, has finally beached itself on a wilderness stretch of beach 8 miles north of Toleak Point, Washington or roughly 15 miles north of the Hoh River mouth.
The dock was spotted by the crew of the Fishing Vessel Lady Nancy off the Olympic Peninsula last Friday, but then lost sight of it. Then today, it was discovered on an isolated beach between Toleak Point and the Hoh River, just north of where Highway 101 turns eastward toward Port Angeles.
The dock looks identical to the one that came ashore June 5th at Agate Beach just north of Newport. The Oregonian has more details. Click here.
Another Japanese dock off Washington
Fishermen off the coast of Washington State took this photograph of another Japanese dock that looks identical to the one that came ashore at Newport’s Agate Beach June 4th. This one was spotted about 15 miles northwest of Gray’s Harbor. An effort to locate it by Coast Guard Helicopter was not successful, but they’re trying to figure the trajectory that the dock may be taking because at close to 100 tons, it is a giant hazard to shipping near the busy mouth of the Columbia River.
From the looks of it, it’s the same dock that was spotted earlier this fall drifting between the Hawaiian Islands. The little pole sticking up is identical to the one that appeared in a You Tube video.
More on the story is found in the Oregonian. Click here.
Whether from the Japanese Tsunami or just stuff that gets inappropriately into the ocean, marine debris is a growing concern along America’s beaches. A bill that provides funds for communities in the Northeast for repairing damage from Hurricane Sandy also includes $56 million in marine debris cleanup, some of it earmarked for debris from the Japanese Tsunami.