June 6th, 2012
02:47 PM ET

Japanese dock from tsunami drifts, lands on Oregon beach

Residents near Agate Beach in Oregon were shocked when they saw a 66-foot long dock had washed ashore.

The massive dock was spotted earlier in the week floating offshore, a mile north of Newport, according to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. And upon closer examination it was clear that it wasn't just your ordinary ocean debris. The placard, bearing Japanese writing,  gave them a hint.


A metal placard bearing Japanese writing was found attached to the dock.

Instantly the question was: Is this another giant piece of debris from the tsunami in Japan last year that's made its way to U.S. shores? It certainly wouldn't have been the first time - and likely won't be the last.

Debris from the March 2011 tsunami in Japan began showing up on western U.S. shores  in recent months.

After some testing and translation officials confirmed that the derelict dock was indeed debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan, the parks department said, citing the Japanese Consulate in Portland.

The parks department said they were able to trace the dock back to Japan after having the local Japanese consulate translate the placard which reveals a company name, location and phone number. Havel added that tires on the dock were determined to have come from a company in Japan. And officials testing plants and wildlife found on the dock learned they were native to Japan.

At first residents were told to stay away from the giant dock, which is 7 feet tall and 19 feet wide.

The dock, made of concrete and metal, posed concerns about whether it might be radioactive at first. Oregon parks spokesman Chris Havel told CNN that officials tested the dock for radiation but the tests were negative.

There have been concerns that tsunami debris from Japan could be contaminated by radiation because of problems at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. But the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has said that it is unlikely that radioactive material will make landfall in North America.

Read more about other tsunami debris and radiation concerns:

Japanese man claims motorcycle that washed up in Canada

U.S. Coast Guard sinks Japanese boat washed away by tsunami

Japanese boat washed away in tsunami spotted more than a year later

Low levels of Fukushima cesium found in West Coast tuna

- CNN's Linda Hall, Shawn Nottingham and Casey Wian contributed to this report.

soundoff (129 Responses)
  1. namehere

    it's a trap

    June 6, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • FesterNScab

      funny. i agree.

      June 7, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Duane

    I imagine a year from now debris will still be coming to our shores

    June 6, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • please

      ..years...

      And how much will end up in the north pacific gyre?

      June 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Me

    Easy answer: Aliens.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • finkster

      Why do you always blame us aliens.....I mean you humans are a paranoid bunch...:-)

      June 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sean

    66x19x7 ? that's what we call an $1400.00 a month studio apartment in the east village in NYC.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nate

      Mine's 350 sq ft and the ceiling's 7ft tall. I'm 6'4. I pay 1400

      June 6, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • please

      Prices have really fallen then.

      June 6, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Z_2k

      ...and a walk-up, at that !

      June 6, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom C

      Hardly. That's 1,254 square feet. More like a large 2 bedroom co-op. But I like your comment. Made me realize the scale of this thing.

      June 6, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Badonkadonk

      that's all?

      June 6, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • j0eschm0e

      1710sq ft 3 bedroom home with 36×48 garage, 1 acre land. 750 a month "buying", 15 yr mortgage, been 8 years now. means its half paid off. 5.25% intrest. crazy to go 30 years. saving 90,000 in intrest. new york is that good to live in a 350 sq ft cubical? for 1400?

      June 7, 2012 at 5:35 am | Report abuse |
  5. Marc

    Do they really need to spend the time and money testing plants on it to see where it's from? Just scrap it.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba™

      One sprig of invasive plant life could be a huge problem. Heck yeah, check it carefully. Someone once dumped the elodea from their aquarium into a Florida canal, and today . . .

      June 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • j0eschm0e

      just hope theres no giant jelly fish with it

      June 7, 2012 at 5:37 am | Report abuse |
  6. Radio Active

    Anyone check it with a Geiger Counter yet ?

    June 6, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blair

      Did you even read the article, or just look at the headline and pictures and think you had it?

      June 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Scott

    "Because of the large size, state park workers are telling residents to stay away from it."

    I see no causal relationship here, but okay, if it's large, stay away.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Juan Julio Gonzo

    Trojan Horse?

    June 6, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    I don't see anything pariculary mysterious about it – tsunami, anyone? – cool, yes, but not mysterious.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      S/B 'particularly'

      June 6, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugh Jass

      Yeah, how could this have happened? What a huge mystery? *snap* Oh, right, the TSUNAMI. Nevermind.

      June 6, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mario

    Slow day? I'm sure there are some news around the world, Obama still thinks he is a good president, Beiden is still talking like a junkie with tourette, Syria is not a play ground....I'm sure you can find something that affects more people than this....then again, this is CNN.....

    June 6, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Count Willard

      It is debris from a company destroyed by Bain Capital.

      June 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Luigi

      Get back to work, Mario, these drains won't unclog themselves.

      June 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Its called news Mario. There is more going on than your hatred for the current administration. The news talks about all kinds of topics. Hey there might even be a topic about how to understand complex civilizations.

      June 6, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. SNL

    CNN = Crappy News Network... all crap 24 hours a day 7 days a week

    June 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wootings

      ...and yet here you are, earning them money...everytime someone clicks into a CNN article and sees ads, CNN gets money. You're supporting the very website you claim to hate. Logic fail.

      June 6, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Loveulongtime

    Somebody better call sheriff Joe from AZ. and have this thing arrested, its papers are not in order

    June 6, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Brad

    2012: A Sea Odyssey

    June 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugh Jass

      A sea oddity?

      June 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Michigander5

    "No obvious evidence it crossed the ocean"...Really?...I mean really..? I am sure someone just dragged it out there to dump....

    June 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugh Jass

      ""No obvious evidence it crossed the ocean"...Really?...I mean really..?" It could have used public transportation, or been smuggled in by dock smugglers. Coming this fall: DOCK SMUGGLERS, the new reality show.

      June 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Kgkay

    Why didn't the photographer get the horizon level??

    June 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • theDoctor

      cuz its cool when things iz crooked. makes up for the lack of scale and a messed up exposure.

      June 6, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Because then dimwits like you wouldnt have any stupid questions to ask.

      June 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mathprof

      'cause the artist in him matched the angle of the boat to the sandy beach, not the horizon.

      June 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • ThinkAboutThis

      Did you ever think that maybe the beach was sloping?

      June 6, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan in Texas

      Because CNN slants to the LEFT!

      June 6, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
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