Barnacle-encrusted boat embedded in sand likely tsunami debris

GLENEDEN BEACH, Ore. - Barnacles, brown algae and unknown species of "hydrozoans" took up residence on a boat from Japan now embedded in sand on the Oregon Coast, likely debris of the March 2011 tsunami.

On Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 2:30 p.m., two Oregon Department of Fish and Wildife biologists, Steve Rumrill and Justin Ainsworth, inspected a boat that 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.

The fiberglass hull is predominantly white with patches of blue bottom paint.

The side of the vessel contains a 4"X12" "YAMAHA" sticker, and the bow section contains some red painted characters.

They 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 was on site and is in the process of developing a plan for removal of the vessel.

In summary, state officials said the overturned boat appears to be Japan tsunami marine debris that does not pose a risk for HazMats and that poses very little risk associated with invasive species.

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