The owner of a Harley-Davidson, which drifted to Canada after being swept away in the 2011 Japanese tsunami, has been identified as Ikuo Yokoyama. The motorcycle's license plate provided crucial information leading to Yokoyama's location.
As reported by CBC News, Yokoyama lost his home and three family members during the tsunami. The dealership that originally sold him the motorcycle now aims to return it to Japan for restoration.
This particular motorcycle is among the initial items of debris making their way to the west coast of North America, with the bulk expected to arrive in 2013.
The Harley-Davidson was discovered by Peter Mark on April 18th, on the British Columbia coast, covered in significant corrosion and rust. However, the manufacturer's logo was still visible, allowing for identification.
Upon noticing the license plate from Miyagi prefecture, the region most severely impacted by the disaster, Mark realized the motorcycle might be tsunami-related debris.
Yokoyama confirmed the bike's identity, expressing his gratitude to the person who found it and expressing amazement at its recovery.
According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), currents were expected to carry debris thousands of miles to the coasts of Alaska, Canada, Washington, and Oregon between March 2013 and 2014.
Lighter items, like buoys and bottles, were some of the first pieces to wash ashore. In previous months, items such as a football and a volleyball from Japan were found in Alaska. Additionally, the US Coast Guard sank a Japanese fishing boat in the Gulf of Alaska after deeming it a hazard.