- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Evidence is mounting that nearly 70-foot floating dock that washed ashore on an Oregon beach came from an area of Japan devastated by last year’s tsunami.

Oregon parks spokesman Chris Havel said Wednesday that a scientist from the Hatfield Marine Science Center found a starfish native to Japan among the marine life clinging to the dock.

And a metal plaque attached to the dock indicates in Japanese that the dock was intended for use in the port of Misawa, in Aomori Prefecture, a coastal area of Japan hit hard by the March 2011 tsunami. The plaque is dated June 2008.

Havel says a check found no radiation contaminating the dock.

The dock washed ashore Tuesday on Agate Beach, a mile north of Newport in central Oregon. It’s made of concrete with a metal pontoon and measures 66 feet long, 19 feet wide and 7 feet high.

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Associated Press writer Ryan Nakashima in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

A large dock with a commemoration plaque in Japanese has washed ashore on the Oregon coast, raising speculation that it could be debris from last year’s tsunami in Japan.

Oregon parks spokesman Chris Havel said Wednesday that a photo of the plate was emailed to the Japanese consulate in Seattle for review.

The dock washed ashore Tuesday on Agate Beach, a mile north of Newport in central Oregon. It’s made of concrete with a metal pontoon and measures 66 feet long, 19 feet wide and 7 feet high.

Fast-moving debris from the tsunami has begun arriving on the shores of North America. It includes a soccer ball and a shipping container holding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle with Japanese license plates.

The bulk of the debris is not expected until winter.


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