By NOAA Marine Debris Program staff
UPDATE: The U.S. Coast Guard located the dock after an extensive aerial search. The dock is grounded in remote section of coast in the Olympic National Park, and officials are working on getting there in order to assess it.
Federal, state, and local officials are working to locate a large dock reportedly floating off the coast of Washington. The dock, similar in appearance to one that washed ashore in Oregon last June, has not been seen since it was initially reported by fishermen last Friday. The structure is suspected to be debris from the March 2011 tsunami in Japan:
“On Friday evening, fishermen aboard Fishing Vessel Lady Nancy reported a large object floating off the coast of Washington state, approximately 16 nautical miles northwest of the Grays Harbor entrance. NOAA is working to determine the object’s trajectory based on the reported location.
Washington State Emergency Management Division is coordinating the state efforts to address this object. Following its Marine Debris Response Plan, the state identified resources and brought in partners to prepare for the response. The state contacted federal and tribal partners to review the planned response. As needed, the Quinault Indian Nation will work with the state in response efforts, as will NOAA’s Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, Olympic National Park, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Since Friday, the U.S. Coast Guard has continuously broadcasted a Safety Marine Information Broadcast alerting mariners of this floating debris. Sector Columbia River/Air Station Astoria, Ore., conducted five searches for this floating debris, with an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, searching a combined area of 317 square miles. The Coast Guard will continue to work with NOAA, Washington state agencies and the Quinault Indian Nation to track this floating debris.”
Anyone sighting this object or other significant debris that may be from the tsunami is asked to contact local authorities and report it to DisasterDebris@noaa.gov.