By: NOAA Marine Debris Program staff
UPDATE: On April 25, the Consulate General of San Francisco confirmed the boat’s origin. It is the first confirmed piece of tsunami debris in California.
On April 7, a 20-foot skiff with Japanese writing was found on the beach near Crescent City, CA. The U.S. Coast Guard and local sheriff’s office were notified and the vessel, which was covered in pelagic gooseneck barnacles, was quickly removed from the shoreline.
Staff at Humboldt State University in California translated writing on the side of the boat and found that it said “Takata High School.” The school is located in Rikuzentakata, Japan, an area devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and a teacher from the school reportedly identified the vessel as belonging to them.
NOAA is working with the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco to confirm the vessel’s origin with the new details. If the boat indeed came from the school in Rikuzentakata, this will be the first confirmed piece of tsunami debris found in California. To date, NOAA, working through Japan consulates in impacted states, has identified 26 other items found on U.S. shores as tsunami debris.