State confirms vessel found off East Oahu is tsunami debris

A state crew removed a 20-foot skiff at Sandy Beach area Thursday bearing Japanese characters and vessel registration numbers.

It is the seventh boat reported since February this year, following six others that arrived on Hawaii shores due to the 2011 tsunami. Three were on the Big Island, at Kohanaiki, Kawaihae and Kawa Bay. One was overturned on Maui near the Aston Mahana, and two on Oahu were reported, at Kahuku and Punaluu.

Two large plastic bins were also reported this week, which bore identification marks that may be traceable to Japan. One was located at Kamilo Beach, Hawaii and removed by volunteers of the Hawaii Wildlife Fund. The other was located on Kauai at Larsen’s beach.

Items with identification numbers, Japanese characters, are reported to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which works with the Japan Consulate in Hawaii to confirm provenance with the Government of Japan.

The skiff was first spotted at around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, floating dozens of feet off Alan Davis beach.

Initially, emergency crews thought it was a capsized boat. After a closer look, they realized the vessel had significant damage and was covered in Japanese writing. It also had no Hawaii registry.

The boat eventually washed up along the rocks and was retrieved by the DLNR.

Items not claimed by the original owner may then be disposed of.

To report large or unusual marine debris items, especially those that may have attached marine organisms, please email dlnr.marine.debris@hawaii.gov  and DisasterDebris@noaa.gov. Calls may also be made to DLNR at 587-0400.

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