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. Mr. Hand

    Is it really that big of a mystery?? It was jarred loose in the earthquake and floated over here. Now the 'officials' can go back to whatever else they do.

    June 6, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. dowdotica


    June 6, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. US guy

    Is there anyone here who can translate it ? Please !

    June 6, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. tj

    it's a landing port for extraterrestials

    June 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kindasorta

      @tj, well then it must be from Tennessee! There was a city council member in Nashville a few years back that wanted to build that very thing! (Really)

      June 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mario

    HA HA HA HA HA....

    June 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jessica

    How did it get there? They really, actually, need to ask that question????

    June 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jerome Horowitz

    "The origin of the object is not known, but there is no obvious evidence it crossed the ocean," the parks department said in a statement.

    I understand you want to be cautious, but now you're just being silly......

    June 6, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugh Jass

      It could have flown . . .

      June 7, 2012 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  8. Matt

    Stay away! The motionless dock is big and might bite you.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. B1975

    Poor USA gona bring it to shore, it opens up and a portal opens and the aliens come flooding out, the whole world destroyed by Dec 2012 🙁

    June 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Thunder

    Looks more like a BARGE than a dock......

    June 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ryan in Texas

    They want you to stay away from it BECAUSE IT IS LARGE.
    So is the beach, the road, my car.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. MEANA

    Has somepne poked it with a stick yet?

    June 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. MarcNJ

    because some idiot will try to climb on it, slip, get hurt and then sue the state, because of their own stupidity.

    June 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Paul

    Its the Trojan barge....at night a bunch of Toyotas will drive out when no one is looking

    June 6, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • James


      June 6, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary


      June 6, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • BRUCE


      June 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Hot Carl

    You know what they say, it goes like this: ---–

    June 6, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
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