ILWACO, Wash. — A boat with Japanese writing that was found along the Washington state coastline got cleaned up on Saturday and around 3,000 pounds of marine life was removed from the hull.
The 20-foot boat, which was found on Benson Beach at Cape Disappointment State Park, was covered with hundreds of gooseneck barnacles, typical of time in the open ocean.
"Most of the organisms that we have found appear to be fairly common to the Pacific Northwest," Washington State Fish and Wildlife Officer Carl Klein said Saturday during the cleanup of the hull.
Tests did come back negative for radioactivity. The boat will stay at Cape Disappointment temporarily and then eventually be taken to a landfill.
"We're going to have to handle this probably an item at a time," Curt Hart with the Washington State Department of Ecology said about more stuff like this possibly showing up along the Pacific Northwest coastline. "The problem with this is that with the tsunami, nobody can really tell us where, when and what is going to come ashore."
Is This Boat Tsunami Debris?
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has taken information written on the boat and is working with the Japanese consulate in Seattle to determine whether it came from Japan and, if so, whether it might have gone through the 2011 tsunami.
"Everything we have is very preliminary," Hart said. "It may take into next week" to get answers.
In addition to NOAA, the state departments of Ecology, Health and Fish and Wildlife, as well as the Military Emergency Management Division and the state Parks and Recreation Commission are working on the boat assessment and response.
More on the Tsunami Debris
Widely scattered tsunami debris has been arriving intermittently along Pacific Northwest shorelines.
Thousands of people have been flocking to see a Japanese dock that was torn loose by the March 11, 2011, tsunami and ended up on an Oregon beach.
Smaller debris with Japanese writing consisting of soup wrappers, light bulbs and eye drop bottles has also recently been washing ashore in Oregon.
The state Health Department has said it believes it is highly unlikely any arriving tsunami debris is radioactive.
Video: What's the plan for all the tsunami debris?