The Coast Guard on Tuesday located a large dock that washed ashore in an extremely rugged and remote section of coast in the Olympic National Park.
It was found between LaPush and the mouth of the Hoh River. The Coast Guard says it has not been confirmed whether the dock is a piece of debris from the March 2011 tsunami in Japan.
Federal and state and tribal agencies are mounting a coordinated mission to reach the site on the ground, to evaluate the dock for any potential invasive aquatic species that may have "hitchhiked" while it was drifting in the ocean, to evaluate the dock's origins, and to develop a response.
The Coast Guard mounted a series of flights to locate the dock after it was spotted adrift in the ocean last Friday by fishermen aboard Fishing Vessel Lady Nancy. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration worked to determine the dock's trajectory based on the reported location at the time of the sighting.
"The Coast Guard was out in challenging conditions looking for a needle in a haystack, and they found it. I also commend our state marine debris response group and our tribal and local partners for working in concert to respond as we deal with these unprecedented situations," said Gov. Chris Gregoire.
Pending further information about the precise location and the risks associated with the dock, the National Park Service has closed the wilderness beach between Hoh Head and Toleak Point.
Anyone sighting other significant debris that may be from the tsunami is asked to report it to DisasterDebris@noaa.gov.