Boat found at Ocean Shores may be from tsunami

Boat found at Ocean Shores may be from tsunami »Play Video
OCEAN SHORES, Wash. -- People at Ocean Shores are fascinated by what could be the latest debris coming from the 2011 Japanese tsunami -- a boat covered in sea life. The family that found it say it's a bittersweet discovery.

It's hard to see the boat through all of the gooseneck barnacles that attached to it during what may have been a 5,000 mile journey from Japan. State parks rangers hauled it from the beach to their storage yard so Ecology Department experts can get a look at it.

The big question is, what if the sea life attached to the boat is some sort of dangerous invasive species? 

"The good news is that any hazardous materials have been ruled out," said Linda Kent of the state department of Ecology. "So there's no immediate threat to the environment in either health or safety." She added there are no signs of radiation.

The Mead family of Ocean Shores said they were among the first to find it out in front of their place Monday afternoon. 

"Pulled up on it, took a good look at and took some pictures of it and found it very interesting," said Linda Mead. "It's definitely from the tsunami."

If that proves to be the case, it'll be the latest of items that have washed ashore including a huge dock and several other vessels and items that all are believed the result of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011. It washed away lives and washed away their belongings that have shown up on Washington shores.

"We've seen shoes," said Mead. "One time I saw a doll. I just couldn't even pick it up. I think about the children that had to go through that horrible experience and the families that were torn apart."

But we haven't seen the huge amounts of debris that were once predicted. Ecology officials say there is no Texas-sized debris field heading this way, but items could keep showing up for a generation.

The ecology department said if people find things that appear to have hazardous materials they should call 1-800-OILS-911. Non-hazardous debris can be reported to disaster.debris@noaa.gov.