Japanese Tsunami Dock Washes Up In Oregon

A huge floating dock that drifted across the Pacific after last year's tsunami in Japan has washed up on a beach in the western United States.

The 20-metre long concrete and metal dock washed ashore south of Portland, Oregon, earlier this week.

It is believed to have drifted almost 9,000 kilometres across the sea after the tsunami in Japan 15 months ago and is the largest debris to make landfall.

Suspicions it floated all the way from Japan were fuelled by Japanese markings on the dock, including on tyres designed to keep it afloat.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) then contacted Japanese diplomats, who confirmed it was from the March 11, 2011 tsunami.

Hirofumi Murabayashi, deputy consul general at Japan's consulate in Portland, says it is one of four docks washed away in the tsunami.

"The other three we don't know where they are, if they're floating somewhere or they sank in the ocean or not," he said.

The dock is the latest piece of tsunami debris from Japan to wash up in North America, adding to a list which also includes a huge fishing trawler and a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Kirk Tite, who was visiting the Oregon beach with his young son Trevor, said: "It's kind of scary seeing this wash up here, because we all surf."

"If this crossed the Pacific Ocean and it's this big, that means that just about anything of our worst nightmares could cross the Pacific Ocean," he said.

"So we're kind of frightened of what's to come."