Crews haul tsunami debris off Oregon beach

GLENEDEN BEACH, Ore. - Workers pulled a 1-ton boat from the sand Wednesday and disposed of the tsunami debris in a landfill.

Biologists took samples of sea life found on the boat. The 27-foot vessel is believed to be debris from the March 2011 tsunami that hit Japan.

That theory got a boost Wednesday when crews found a safety warning written in Japanese afixed to the boat.

Biologists Steve Rumrill and Justin Ainsworth with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife inspected the boat, collected samples to identify the species, and gave clearance to Oregon Parks and Recreation Department staff to remove the debris.

The boat was about 200 yards from a beach access. Drayton Excavation out of Lincoln City used a piece of heavy equipment to excavate the debris and haul it off the beach.

Debris from the March 2011 tsunami continues to wash up on Northwest shores.

A large pipe washed ashore in late January on the Washington coast near the mouth of the Columbia River at Cape Disappointment State Park.

Two massive docks have washed ashore - one last December on a remote part of the Washington coast, another in the summer of 2012 on a popular Oregon beach that gave tourism a boost.

The stream of debris - which is expected to get worse - has turned beachcombing into a mystery for coast visitors.

People who sight unusual amounts of debris can report it by calling 211 (1-800-SAFENET), or by sending an email to beach.debris@state.or.us