Fishermen report potential Japan tsunami debris off WA coast - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Fishermen report potential Japan tsunami debris off WA coast

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Japanese tsunami dock on the Oregon coast Japanese tsunami dock on the Oregon coast
Grays Harbor, WA (KPTV) -

A large object that may be a dock has been reported drifting off the coast of Washington.

The initial report came in Dec. 14 from fishermen about 16 nautical miles northwest of Grays Harbor. They said the large object was at least similar to a dock, but there has not yet been any confirmation about what it is yet or where it came from.

A 188-ton dock from Japan washed ashore on the Oregon coast in Newport in June. Crews dismantled it in August.

Japan's government estimated that the 2011 tsunami swept about 5 million tons of debris into the Pacific Ocean. Around 70 percent of that is believed to have sank quickly.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has received more than 1,400 debris reports since the tsunami and 17 of them have been confirmed as definite tsunami debris.

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber is set to sign a state plan Tuesday establishing a comprehensive approach to dealing with Japanese tsunami debris on the Oregon coast.

Federal, tribal, state and local workers are partnering up to monitor the waters off Washington for the latest possible sighting. The U.S. Coast Guard has continuously broadcast an alert about the debris to mariners. A Jayhawk helicopter has also been searching a combined area of 317 square miles looking for it.

Anyone who spots 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.

Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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