Japanese Debris Floating Towards USA West Coast

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by brian eiland, May 12, 2011.

  1. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    A vast field of debris, swept out to sea following the Japan earthquake and tsunami, is floating towards the U.S. West Coast, it has emerged. More than 200,000 buildings were washed out by the enormous waves that followed the 9.0 quake on March 11.

    There have been reports of cars, tractor-trailers, capsized ships and even whole houses bobbing around in open water. But even more grisly are the predictions of U.S. oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer, who is expecting human feet, still in their shoes, to wash up on the West Coast within three years.

    "I'm expecting parts of houses, whole boats and feet in sneakers to wash up," Mr Ebbesmeyer, a Seattle oceanographer who has spent decades tracking flotsam, told MailOnline. Several thousand bodies were washed out to sea following the disaster and while most of the limbs will come apart and break down in the water, feet encased in shoes will float, Mr Ebbesmeyer said. "I'm expecting the unexpected," he added.

    Members of the U.S. Navy's 7th fleet, who spotted the extraordinary floating rubbish, say they have never seen anything like it and are warning the debris now poses a threat to shipping traffic.

    "It's very challenging to move through these to consider these boats run on propellers and that these fishing nets or other debris can be dangerous to the vessels that are actually trying to do the work," Ensign Vernon Dennis told ABC News. "So getting through some of these obstacles doesn't make much sense if you are going to actually cause more debris by having your own vessel become stuck in one of these waterways."

    Scientists say the first bits of debris from Japan are due to reach the West Coast in a year's time after being carried by currents toward Washington, Oregon and California. They will then turn toward Hawaii and back again toward Asia, circulating in what is known as the North Pacific
    Gyre, said Mr Ebbesmeyer.

    Read more (and photos): http://tinyurl.com/DM-051111
     
  2. whitepointer23

    whitepointer23 Previous Member

    thats a huge amount of debris, i hate to imagine the clean up when it starts washing onto beachs.
     
  3. Leo Lazauskas
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    Leo Lazauskas Senior Member

    Thanks for finding this article, Brian. It is a very thought-provoking phenomenon, and one that has probably been happening sporadically over hundreds of thousands of years.

    I bet there are a myriad of different bugs travelling with all that debris.
    I wonder what will happen when Argentinian ants from two of the major super-colonies in the world are re-united.

    Leo.
     
  4. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    Feet in shoes have been washing up on NW coast shores for years now and that story has become almost pedestrian, new discoveries may put some legs to the old stories.
     
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  5. kach22i
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    kach22i Architect

    I'm guessing much more of it will sink long before getting there.
     
  6. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    That's a real knee slapper! Are you hip? :D
     
  7. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    It's serious business, don't be so footloose!
     

  8. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    I'll toe the line!

    These puns are bad, its plantar sea.
     
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