Boat possibly washed away by 2011 Japan tsunami headed toward OR - KPTV - FOX 12

Boat possibly washed away by 2011 Japan tsunami headed toward OR coast

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Boat possibly washed away by 2011 tsunami in Japan was spotted in the Pacific Ocean off the Oregon coast last week. (Photo: Oregon Parks and Recreation Department) Boat possibly washed away by 2011 tsunami in Japan was spotted in the Pacific Ocean off the Oregon coast last week. (Photo: Oregon Parks and Recreation Department)
BANDON, OR (KPTV) -

A boat that was possibly washed away by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan is heading toward the Oregon coast.

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter spotted a portion of a boat, estimated to be upward of 30 feet in length, in the Pacific Ocean off the southern Oregon coast on March 16.

The Coast Guard attached a tracking buoy to the boat on March 18 and issued a marine advisory.

The derelict boat is being monitored by state and federal officials. They said it appears to be headed toward an area between Bandon and Cape Arago and could reach land by Tuesday.  

If it comes ashore, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will contract with a local salvager to secure it and then remove it from the beach.

During the removal operation, the department asks beach visitors to respect the work zone and obey any temporary beach or road closures.

Biologists with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Hatfield Marine Science Center will remove samples of plants and animals to check for potentially invasive species, and attempt to confirm the boat's origins.

There's no sign of any hazardous materials on the boat.

Officials believe the boat may have originated in Japan and traveled across the ocean following 2011's devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Various items from Japan have washed ashore in the Pacific Northwest over the years following the tsunami, including a large dock and other boats.

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