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. WOW

    Sitting in the morning sun,
    I'll be sitting when the evening comes.
    Watching the docks roll in,
    Maybe watch them roll out again.
    Sitting by the dock in the bay
    Waaasting tiiiiiiiiiime.

    June 6, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. genebrady

    " but there is no obvious evidence it crossed the ocean," the parks department said in a statement."
    What does THAT mean?

    June 6, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ROCKWOOD

    Um....well where in the heck do they THINK it came from???? Doh......

    June 6, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Injustice

    Have fun at the beach soaking in the radiation!

    June 6, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Portland tony

    Other than natural curiosity, who cares where it came from? I mean are they going to give it back?

    June 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. freezingmariner

    the metal placard tells you exactly where it came from.

    June 6, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. DD

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

    So it tested negative for radiation but somehow its' large size might get you?

    June 6, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Agoac

    What's up, dock?

    June 6, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mayhem

    I'd say a manufacturers plaque.

    June 6, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Archie Bunker III

    It doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out how a floating dock floated all the way to the USA on ocean currents.Who are the writers of these news articles?Second grade kids from india?

    June 6, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. BearLover

    It most probably is from the earthquake and tsunami... just becasue the company that made the item is in Osaka, doesn't mean it they didn't sell it all over the country

    June 6, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Lee Fong Lumberyard (R-Ohio) "Garages starting from $18,$$$"

    Nobody wants a dock. Return it to rightfull owner. The honest ting todoo

    June 6, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Robert Bell

    "The dock is 7 feet tall and 19 feet wide, made of concrete and metal but is able to float. Because of the large size, state park workers are telling residents to stay away from it."

    Yes, it is a large inert object resting on the sand, and everyone knows these are dangerous.

    June 6, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. freshnewblog

    This intrigues me. Anyone else?

    June 6, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. DC

    Save it before the coast guard throws it back in the ocean and sinks it.

    June 6, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
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