Authorities in Oregon have intercepted debris from a Japanese fishing trawler, one of the many properties damaged during the 2011 tsunami. The boat piece even had a few confused animal passengers onboard for the four-year cross-Pacific trip.
According to CNN, officials found a 20 to 30 foot long section of a fiberglass boat off of Oregon’s coast. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department reported the debris has been towed into harbor.
The wreckage is suspected to be from the 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit Japan in March, 2011. The tsunami killed over 15,000 people and devastated the Northeast part of the country. In addition, about 5 million tons of debris was swept out into the ocean according to the Washington Post.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the first piece of Japanese debris started to make landfall as early as 2012. Artifacts from the killer tsunami continue to find their way to the U.S., including pieces of sacred shrines.
As for the boat section, authorities towed it into Newport, Oregon, and moored it inside a marina. Inside the debris, investigators discovered yellowtail jack fish, specimens normally only found in Japanese waters.
According to ABC News, biologists say the fish species don’t pose a serious threat to Oregon’s coastal ecosystem.
The fish will continue their long journey and be transported to the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
The Washington Post reports that about three to four boat-sized pieces of debris wash up in Oregon every year.
Chris Havel, spokesman for the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, explained to the Post that trawlers like this one are designed for deep waters, but not for trans-Pacific trips.
“Trawlers are designed to go into deeper water, and they’re designed to haul a load of fish in, so it may have been a commercial fishing boat. It’s deeper and more substantial, but still it’s not like a boat designed to go across the ocean.”
Tsunamis, like the one that hit Japan, can travel at speeds of around 500 miles per hour and traverse vast distances without losing much energy. In 2011, tsunami sirens sounded even in Washington, Oregon and Alaska, despite being thousands of miles away from the epicenter.
Japan’s disaster came just seven years after another deadly wave came from the Indian Ocean to devastate areas along the coasts of Indonesia, Thailand and India.
That wave killed at least 230,000 people and caused billions of dollars worth of damage.
Plenty of debris from the 2011 incident still floats in the ocean, and will likely continue to make landfall across the Western U.S. coast.
[Image via Oregon Parks and Recreation Department/AP]