Debris dock confirmed from 2011 tsunami; salvage bids requested

Jan 17, 2013

A dock that washed ashore on a remote Washington beach last month is now confirmed as debris from the March 2011 tsunami in Japan. This news comes just as the federal government requests bids from salvage companies to get rid of the huge hulk. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

The 65-foot-long hollow concrete dock was suspected to be Japanese tsunami debris from the start. But it took some detective work to definitively prove it. The breakthrough came when a marine debris response team member found a serial number on a rubber fender. The Japanese government traced that number to a tsunami-ravaged fishing port, the same one where another dock remnant that landed in Oregon came from. National Marine Sanctuaries spokeswoman Keeley Belva says the next step is to solicit bids to remove this hulk from an Olympic National Park beach.

Keeley Belva: "Part of what we're hoping to find out by consulting professionals who do this is what their idea or best method would be to do this."

Belva says initial ideas to get rid of the dock include towing it back out to sea or dismantling it on shore and lifting the pieces out by helicopter. Neither promises to be cheap or easy due to the remoteness of the wilderness location.

NOAA set a Jan. 22 deadline for marine salvage contractors to submit proposals with a firm price tag.

Marine Debris Incident Website:
http://marinedebris.wa.gov/incidents/ForksDock.html