Contractor hired to remove tsunami dock from beach

SEATTLE (AP) - A Port Townsend company hired to remove a 185-ton chunk of Japanese tsunami debris that washed ashore on a remote Washington beach in December hopes to complete the removal by the end of March.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration selected The Undersea Company to do the work.

The 65-foot-long dock is located on a beach within the boundaries of both Olympic National Park and NOAA's Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.

Most of the dock is made of a foam-type material encased in steel-reinforced concrete.

NOAA says the Undersea Company will work with the sanctuary, national park and local partners to remove the dock by dismantling it on the beach and removing the pieces by helicopter.

Most of the cost - about $478,000 - is expected to come from money provided to NOAA by the government of Japan. The rest of the removal will be paid for by NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the national park.

Based on a serial number, the government of Japan confirmed the dock was lost during the March 2011 tsunami.