A section of a dock thought to have drifted from Japan following the March 2011 tsunami has come ashore along the coast of Olympic National Park, and officials are working on a plan to remove it.
A team from the National Park Service, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Oregon State University on Friday was able to reach and inspect the dock, which was floating between LaPush and the mouth of the Hoh River. They closely inspected the structure and took "live samples of potentially invasive species for laboratory analysis," a release from Olympic National Park said.
The crews noted extensive damage to the dock, "likely due in part to the rough weather and continued battering of the dock on rocks on the beach," the release said.
There was no identifying plaque on the structure, although some Japanese writing was found in one of the holds. Photographs of the dock were being shared with the Japanese consulate to officially confirm this dock as tsunami debris.
Until the dock can be salvaged, crews attached a tracking beacon to the structure so it could be located if is drifts from its current position.
Pending further information about the risks associated with the dock, the section of the park between Goodman Creek and Jefferson Cove has been closed to all public entry.