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Boat at Kahana Bay could be Japan tsunami debris

Published On: Dec 04 2012 06:26:05 PM HST

DLNR

Pieces of the broken boat were retrieved from the ocean and include Japanese registration numbers from pieces of the stern.  This information was provided to NOAA which will work with the Consulate-General of Japan in Honolulu to seek confirmation of origin in the tsunami-affected area with help of the Japan government.

HONOLULU -

An open boat recovered from the shoreline of Kahana Bay may be the next piece to be verified as Japan tsunami marine debris, pending confirmation by the Government of Japan, with assistance by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Consulate-General of Japan in Honolulu.

The approximately 20-foot boat was reportedly seen floating whole on Thursday, Nov. 29 in Kahana Bay.

By Friday afternoon when it was officially reported, it had broken up into pieces on rocks on the northward outer edge of the bay.  Staff from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the state's lead agency for marine debris responses, were able to retrieve pieces of the boat from the rocks and bring them ashore on Saturday.

Further investigations by DLNR on Tuesdsay in the ocean near where the boat had washed up on to the rocks recovered more pieces of the broken boat.

Identification information found on the various pieces include Japanese characters on a section of the bow, and Japanese registration numbers from pieces of the stern.

The NOAA Marine Debris Program in Hawaii is working with the Japan Consulate on confirmation of the boat's origin.

DLNR and NOAA will make a followup announcement if this item is confirmed.  If it is confirmed, it will be the fourth confirmed tsunami marine debris item for Hawaii and the 17th overall for the U.S. and Canada.

Identification of the boat’s origin may also help with the identification of two species of mussels collected by DLNR staff that were attached to the boat as biofouling.  The mussels could be a species that is present along the Japan coastline and is not currently known to be present in Hawaii.  Specimens were turned over to NOAA for further identification by Bishop Museum and possible genetic identification.

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