Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Possible New Japanese Tsunami Debris Investigated At Long Beach

State park rangers on Washington's Long Beach peninsula are investigating a new possible case of Japanese tsunami debris.

This happened after a beachcomber found a 20-foot skiff encrusted with seaweed and gooseneck barnacles on Wednesday morning. It resembles earlier derelict boats traced back to the March 2011 tsunami.

Pacific County Emergency Management Director Stephanie Fritts says it's possible this new arrival floated in the ocean for three years.

"It makes me wonder how much more is out there," she says. "How long is this migration or circulation of potential tsunami debris going to occur?"

No identifying marks have been found on this derelict skiff so far. That could make it hard to confirm the boat's origin.

The skiff will be checked for invasive species. That's a known risk from Japanese tsunami debris.

But Washington State Parks spokeswoman Virginia Painter cautions against drawing any conclusions.

"These things do wash up from time to time," she says. "It's not really out of the ordinary and therefore not necessarily tsunami-related."

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.