After it was first sighted last month by a fishing boat floating along the Western Washington State coast, eventually washing up on the Olympic National Park, it was confirmed that the 19-meter long dock was one of four that used to be lodged in the fishing port of Misawa in Aomori Prefecture that were ripped off by the March 11, 2011 tsunami.
In order to trace its origins, the Japanese consulate in Seattle sent a photo of the serial number of the dock, taken by one of the clean up crew, to local agencies in Japan. The crew was able to remove more than 180 kilos of organic matter from the dock to kill off any invasive species that could potentially upset the ecological balance in the country. State and federal agencies are in cooperation to formulate a plan for the removal of the estimated 185-ton dock before the concrete outer shell breaks and the plastic foam core starts to break and contaminate the park.
It will be remembered that in June 2012, a first dock already turned up on one of the beaches on the Oregon coast. This one was even larger at 21 meters long, and was identified to have come from Misawa via a metal plaque plastered to it.