Boat chunk off Oregon coast thought to be tsunami debris

WALDPORT, Ore. (AP) -- An Oregon parks official says a roughly 25-foot-long chunk of fiberglass boat spotted drifting off the central Oregon coast is believed to be more debris from the deadly 2011 Japanese tsunami.

Chris Havel of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department said the debris was spotted Thursday morning and by evening was a few miles offshore. A team of Oregon state agencies is working to retrieve the vessel chunk before it reaches land.

Havel says biologists inspected the object and consulted with the state Fish and Wildlife Department, deciding that the attached organisms pose little threat to the Oregon coast ecosystem.

The plan is to tow the boat segment to the Port of Newport for temporary storage. Later, Havel says it will be removed from the water, studied, dismantled and taken to a landfill.

Several live yellowtail jack fish on board will be delivered to the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

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