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Owner identifies tsunami-swept Harley found in Canada

By Malcolm Foster

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 05:39 a.m. HST, May 02, 2012

TOKYO >> It must have been a wild ride. Japanese media say a Harley-Davidson motorcycle lost in last year’s tsunami has washed up on a Canadian island about 4,000 miles away.

The rusted bike was found in a large white container where its owner, Ikuo Yokoyama, had kept it. He was located through the license plate number, Fuji TV reported Wednesday.

“This is unmistakably mine. It’s miraculous,” Yokoyama told Nippon TV when shown photos of the motorcycle.

Yokoyama lost three members of his family in the March 11, 2011, tsunami, and is now living in temporary housing in Miyagi prefecture.

The motorcycle is among the first items lost in the tsunami to reach the west coast of North America. In March, an Alaska man found a football and later a volleyball from Japan; their owners were located last week using names that had been inscribed on the balls.

Canadian Peter Mark, who found the bike and its container, told Fuji that he “couldn’t believe that something like that would make it across the Pacific.” The report said he found it April 18 on Graham Island, off the coast of British Columbia.

The motorcyle was caked with “a lot of corrosion, a lot of rust,” said Mark.

When he saw the Japanese license plate, Mark wondered if it might have drifted from Japan after the tsunami, and contacted a local TV station.

The Fuji report said the motorcycle would be shipped back to Japan, and that the shop that sold it to Yokoyama would help with paperwork and storage.

Debris from the tsunami initially gathered in the ocean off Japan’s northeastern coast and has since spread out across the Pacific. In February, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said currents would carry much of the debris to the coasts of Alaska, Canada, Washington and Oregon between March 2013 and 2014, though they correctly predicted that some of it could arrive this year.

Last month, a U.S. Coast Guard cutter fired on and sank a fishing boat in the Gulf of Alaska that had drifted from Japan after the disaster. Authorities had deemed the ship a hazard to shipping and to the coastline.

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manakuke wrote:
Quite a journey!
on May 2,2012 | 06:30AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Man that bike is going to be worth a lot of money.
on May 2,2012 | 08:15AM
saveparadise wrote:
Can human remains turn up in the debris?
on May 2,2012 | 08:27AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
In other news, British Columbia officials charged 5 million Japanese with littering.
on May 2,2012 | 08:48AM
Kuokoa wrote:
Really? A 1000 pound Harley-Davidson motorcycle FLOATED there from Japan? Amazing and very hard to believe.
on May 2,2012 | 09:04AM
mbcarino wrote:
it was actually in a white shipping container, similar to those used by matson. if the doors were shut properly, a container like that DOES float.
on May 2,2012 | 09:35AM
mbcarino wrote:
not sure why they show it buried in the sand in this article, cuz every other article i saw had pictures of the harley in the shipping cube. http://www.autoblog.com/2012/04/30/harley-davidson-lost-in-japans-tsunami-washes-up-in-canada/
on May 2,2012 | 09:38AM
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