Department of Ecology News Release - June 15, 2012 6:30 p.m.

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State and federal agencies responding to boat beached at Cape Disappointment State Park, evaluating whether it is Japanese tsunami debris

ILWACO – State and federal agencies are responding to an approximately 20-foot boat that washed ashore at Cape Disappointment State Park in Pacific County.

Agencies are evaluating whether the boat came from Japan and was swept into the Pacific Ocean during the March 11, 2011, tsunami.

The state departments of Ecology, Health, Fish and Wildlife, Military Emergency Management Division and Washington Parks and Recreation Commission and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are working together to better assess the boat’s origin and take coordination action to protect public health, safety and the environment.

The Washington Parks and Recreation Commission is asking the public to stay clear of the boat so the state Department of Fish and Wildlife can take precautionary actions, including steam cleaning the vessel, to remove potential invasive plant and animal species.

NOAA is working with the Japanese consulate in Seattle to find out if the boat came from Japan and locate the owner.

While no oil or hazardous materials have preliminarily been observed associated with the boat, Ecology spill responders will assess whether the vessel poses any immediate environmental risks.

Anyone encountering oil or hazardous materials on Washington beaches should call 1-800-OILS-911.

More about tsunami debris

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Contact information:

Curt Hart, Department of Ecology media relations, 360-480-7908 (curt.hart@ecy.wa.gov)

Photos of boat at Cape Disappointment:
Photo source - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration