The Hawaiian fishermen were lucky they discovered this massive piece of Japanese tsunami debris when they did, because had it been night, the results could have been disastrous.
For the past year and a half, this dock has been circling around in the northern Pacific gyre like a bullet in a game of Russian roulette, and it had finally found itself near the Hawaiian island of Moloka’i, 25 miles east of Oahu.
The US Coast Guard is currently broadcasting a notice to mariners over VHF Ch. 16 while a plan is put in place on how to deal with this. More than likely however, it will be happily used as a target for either the Coast Guard or Naval warships in the area and allow it to sink to the ultra deep waters surrounding Hawaii.
Of significant concern, besides the obvious hazard to navigation it presents, is the introduction of invasive species that may have attached themselves to the dock from other parts of the Pacific. This summer, a similar dock was found beached on an Oregon beach and the removal and disposal fee was upwards of $80,000. Clinging to the dock was a sea star, native to Japanese waters. Depending on the munitions use, sinking it in deep water may likely be the quickest and cheapest option to tax payers.
Here’s a report from the Associated Press when the Japanese dock reached an Oregon beach this summer:
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