Missing U.S. military boat ramp recovered

A U.S. military boat ramp, part of a pier that broke loose from its moorings and drifted to the ocean from White Beach two weeks ago has been recovered in southern Okinawa Prefecture.

A report to the Miyako-jima Coast Guard Station confirmed that a Coast Guard patrol boat had found a drifting object floating on the ocean about 1.8 kilometers southwest off Shimoji Island in Miyako-jima City on Monday afternoon. The coast guard station dispatched patrol boat “Yaeduki” to the scene to tow the object to Hirara port early Monday evening.

The subsequent Coast Guard station investigation determined that the object is a part of a pier or a ramp owned by the U.S. Military.  There have been no reports on any damage caused by the drifting object. The object is about 6 meters long and 2 meters wide and made of metal.

According to the coast guard station, the Nakagusuku Coast Guard Office had received a report from the Okinawa Defense Bureau announcing a warning to sailing ships that a US Forces’ pier and a ramp had gotten loose and drifted out to the ocean from White Beach on Oct. 15th.  After capturing the ramp, the coast guard station asked the Okinawa Defense Bureau through the 11th Coast Guard Headquarters, and confirmed that the object indeed was the U.S. Forces’ ramp.

The rest of the pier’s whereabouts is not known yet, but some camouflage-patterned driftage was reportedly found on the ocean about 60 kilometers southwest from Kume Island. The Japan Coast Guard is investigating the details.