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.”