Dock confirmed as tsunami debris

The dock that washed up on a remote Washington coast beach near LaPush definitely came from Japan as a result of the Japanese tsunami of March 2011, the Japan government has confirmed.

The dock has been positively identified as coming from Aomori Prefecture based on a fender production serial number discernible in one of the photographs sent by Washington state and federal responders.

The dock beached in December on a remote shore within the boundaries of both the Olympic National Park and Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Scientists suspected the dock was from Japan, since state and federal responders found dozens of plant and animal species on the structure that were native to Japan, not Washington state.

The dock was similar to one that washed ashore near Newport, Ore., last summer which was also confirmed to be from the Japanese tsunami.

To date, 19 items have been definitively traced back to the tsunami, typically by registration number or some other unique marking. This is the fourth confirmed item found on the shores of Washington state.