The barnacle-covered boat that washed up on a southwest Washington beach Friday has been traced to its owner in Japan, who says he lost it during the March 2011 tsunami, according to a staffer with the Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle.
U.S. officials provided the Japanese government with what appeared to be a registration number on the boat. The owner, who lives on the northern part of the island of Honshu, which was hard-hit by the tsunami, confirmed to Japanese officials that the boat was his, according to Travis Doty, a staffer with the Consulate General in Japan.
Doty did not have information about the owner’s occupation, or how the boat was used.
The boat, estimated to be about 20 feet in length, was found beached at Cape Disappointment State Park.
The boat was cleaned of barnacles and other sea life by a team of state officials who filled some 20 trash bags with it. No invasive species were found, according to Curt Hart, a spokesman for the state Department of Ecology.
Along with the boat, state officials found a battery, marine radio and several life jackets that made the long sea journey from Japan.