Docks are a rather common sight along the shoreline – but they don’t often wash up with the waves. A hulking concrete-and-steel dock washed ashore at Oregon’s Agate Beach after an unimaginable 5,000-mile journey eastward from Japan. The tsunami ripped off four docks from the coastal town of Misawa and sent them into the sea. Only one had been found before June 5, when Oregon beachgoers spotted the 66-foot-long dock riding in. Tracing its origin using a commemorative plaque on the 165-ton dock, Oregon officials learned that it was once used to load fish onto trucks in the northern Japan port city.
But it wasn’t all wonderment – officials had to ensure it was radiation-free before determining how to scrape off the algae and organisms that survived the trek, which could pose a biohazard to marine life in the area. Oregon’s parks department will soon face the challenge of disposing the dock, as its Japanese owners aren’t asking for the dock to be returned
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