Miracle boat sails the Pacific, but toppled by surf

Miracle boat found washed ashore this week apparently survived the Pacific but not the surf (Photo courtesy: NOAA)
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Next time you are thinking of abandoning ship, think carefully. A 20ft runabout boat has miraculously sailed solo across the Pacific after being apparently sent to sea by the Japanese Tsunami in March 2011, but couldn't survive the surf on a beach in Cape Disappointment State Park, south west of Seattle in the USA.

Jim Sachet with the Washington Department of Ecology said people found the fiberglass boat on Benson Beach, which is on the ocean side of the park just north of Cape Disappointment.

While Sachet can’t confirm the boat was sent out to sea by the Japan tsunami, he said there is Japanese writing on it and on several life jackets that likely came loose as the boat crashed through the surf. Barnacles on the hull of the little craft suggest, however, that the little boat 'sailed' upright for the long voyage.

'It looks like the boat must have rolled as it came through the surf onto the beach,' Sachet said. 'It broke off the little cabin that was on it.'

Department of Ecology experts also found some barnacles on the boat that are not native to the Pacific Northwest.

'Rangers asked us to guard it and keep people off of it,' said Judie Erickson, a volunteer at a nearby lighthouse. 'They don't want people touching it or on it or taking stuff off of it.'

Officials from NOAA say it will likely be next week before they can positively determine where the little boat came from. They are working with the Japanese consulate in Seattle to help in that effort.