Boat buried in Ore. sand likely tsunami debris

No apparent danger, low risk of invasive species

GLENEDEN BEACH, Ore. - A boat found partly buried upside-down in sand on the Oregon coast appears to be another piece of debris from the March 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami, officials said Tuesday.

On Tuesday afternoon, two Oregon Department of Fish and Wildife biologists, Steve Rumrill and Justin Ainsworth, inspected the boat that was found washed up Gleneden Beach earlier in the day.

The boat is oriented hull-up, and it is embedded in the sand with most of the hull exposed. The vessel is 30 feet long and the hull is an unusual design and appears to be a specialty design for some type of commercial fishing or aquaculture activity, officials said.

The fiberglass hull is predominantly white with patches of blue bottom paint.  The side of the vessel contains a 4-by-12-foot "YAMAHA" sticker, and the bow section contains some red painted characters.

The pair inspected the marine organisms attached to the overturned hull.  The hull is covered in large numbers of pelagic (gooseneck)  barnacles which colonized the surfaces while the vessel was adrift in the open ocean.

The hull is colonized by extensive patches of brown algae (species unknown, but not Wakame) and colonies of hydrozoans (species unknown).  The hull is also colonized by large numbers of blue mussels, but species not confirmed. One individual of the Japanese acorn barnacle was seen.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department staff were on site and began the process of developing a plan for removal of the vessel.

Officials said the overturned boat appears to be Japan tsunami marine debris that does not pose a risk for hazardous materials and poses very little risk associated with invasive species.

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