Officials are watching off of the coast for a large dock that was reported on December 14. There has been no official confirmation of the debris and it has not been re-located since its initial report. It is reported to be similar to a dock that beached in Oregon in July.
On Friday evening, fishermen aboard Vessel Lady Nancy reported the large object floating approximately 16 miles northwest of Grays Harbor. NOAA is working to determine the object’s trajectory based on the reported location.
Since Friday, the U.S. Coast Guard has continuously broadcasted a Safety Marine Information Broadcast alerting mariners of this floating debris. Crews conducted five searches for this debris by helicopter, searching 317 square miles. The Coast Guard will continue to work with NOAA, Washington state agencies and the Quinault Indian Nation to track this possible debris.
It is estimated that the Japanese tsunami swept about 5 million tons of debris into the Pacific Ocean and that about 70 percent sank quickly. The remaining 1.5 million tons dispersed across the North Pacific Ocean in an area roughly three times the size of the lower 48 states.
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.