Japanese Boat Washes Ashore Along Coast

FLORENCE, Ore. — An abandoned 24′ non-motorized boat was removed from the ocean shore near Muriel Ponsler Wayside north of Florence on Thursday. It was taken to a local landfill by Leisure Excavating.

When the boat was found, no pollution or hazardous materials were detected but there was marine life clinging to the debris. Some of the organisms included gooseneck barnacles, mussels, and seaweeds according to ODFW biologist Steve Rumrill. Rumrill said the marine life was attached to the hull of the boat and some of them are suspected to be non-native species. For this reason, samples were sent to Oregon State University for identification.

Scientists have been keeping their eyes open for non-native species along the Coast since the 2011 Japan tsunami washed debris ashore over the past two years. The boat itself was spotted by a volunteer marine debris monitoring team and has Japanese writing on it.

It’s possible the boat is debris that was washed away from the tsunami, but its exact origin and the date it was lost haven’t been determined at this point.