April 30, 2014 -- An old boat that washed ashore in Washington State may be a blast from the past -- a ship that was swept away from Japan during the devastating 2011 tsunami, officials said.
“There’s a very large amount of vegetation growth so it’s been in the water quite a long time, and that’s what we’ve seen in the past with things that have washed up [from overseas],” Charles Wallace of Grays Harbor County Emergency Management told ABCNews.com.
An officer from the Ocean Shores Police Department found the boat on Monday, covered in slimy, eel-like vegetation and shells. He noticed Asian lettering or symbols printed on the boat, which is why he thought it might be from Japan, Wallace said.
The Department of Ecology collected samples of the vegetation and will have results in about a week.
"They’ll be able to determine if the vegetation is from our area or somewhere else,” Wallace said.
It wouldn’t be the first tsunami wreckage to wash up on the Pacific Ocean’s shores – several Japanese vessels and belongings have surfaced on the West Coast and in Canada since 2011.