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. Colin in Florida

    " Because of the large size, state park workers are telling residents to stay away from it." It's dangerous because it is large? What does that make the Empire State Building, or a large cruise ship?

    June 6, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oh for Pete's sake!

      Yeah that struck me as an odd comment also.

      June 6, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Errogant 2

      it is dangerous because it is large, and it FLOATS! The dock washed up during a high tide and can just as easily be moved again by the next incoming tide. Even relatively small logs are dangerous when the are resting below the high tide mark.

      June 6, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • maglor

      Not only is it large, they are not likely sure about its structural integrity before thorough investigation happens, thus they don't know if the whole thing might suddenly break apart and rain down large debris on people near by.

      June 6, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. d

    geiger counter

    June 6, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Hope

    Agate Beach...

    It's so beautiful there. We vacation at the Inn at Otter Crest, just up the road from there. Mo's clam chowder... the best!

    😀

    Where it came from?

    Who cares... it's all cOOL!

    😀

    June 6, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. eg

    and i cannot lie

    June 6, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hope

      Why would I lie about something like that? Anyone who's lived or vacationed there knows how pretty it is.

      June 6, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Roger Bills

    What's up? Dock!

    June 6, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Chris

    This just doubled State of Oregon's total assets

    June 6, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Oh for Pete's sake!

    "Because it's large" is probably a euphemism for "because it may be radioactive and we haven't gotten the report back yet". Now that they have received that negative report, the item is probably no longer "too large" to be safe. 🙂

    June 6, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • shawn

      this was floating in the water long before the reactor went "hot"...

      June 6, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • j0eschm0e

      shawn

      this was floating in the water long before the reactor went "hot"... ummm before it went large lol

      June 7, 2012 at 5:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Squally

      Not every piece of derbies from the tsunami is radioactive.

      June 7, 2012 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. Wowsers

    SO glad they confirmed it....as if there were any doubt before...smh!!

    June 6, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jj

    SS,
    Yes, the manufacturer is Nishimura Sangyo, but right above, you can read it's from Misawa, Aomori where we have US Misawa Air Base.

    June 6, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. escher7

    Thought it said "rock". Would have been much more interesting.

    June 6, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Really

    Stand back folks! This thing is large!

    June 6, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Really?

    Nope, large things are dangerous!

    June 6, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. HIDE BEHIND

    When logic is found wanting your whole damn life can be a mystery!

    June 6, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bob B

    Tell them to come get it.

    June 6, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Squally

      Yeah because the US already has enough trash amirite? Maybe they can come get you while you're at it? Nah, wouldn't want to do that to them.

      June 7, 2012 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
  15. t

    message in a bottle...

    June 7, 2012 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
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