Harley lost in tsunami being returned to Japan


A Harley Davidson motorcycle swept away during the 2011 tsunami has washed up on a British Columbia shoreline. Canadians are raising money to return it to the owner, who lost almost everything, including three family members, in the disaster.


Joe Raedle

A Harley Davidson motorcycle lost in last year’s Japanese tsunami is being returned to its owner, who lost nearly everything – including three family members – in the disaster, Postmedia News reported.

A resident of remote Masset, British Columbia, Canada, found a Styrofoam-lined container with the rusted bike and some golf clubs inside that had washed ashore.

Through media reports, a Japanese representative of Harley Davidson traced the bike to Ikuo Yokoyama, 29, who lives in one of the area’s hardest hit by last year’s earthquake and tsunami.

"I'm pretty happy. I've been worried the whole time that something bad had happened to him. It's a major relief knowing he is OK," Peter Mark, who found the bike, told Postmedia. "I understand he lost a lot in the tsunami. My heart really goes out to the guy.”

Masset is more than 4,000 miles away from Japan on Graham Island.

Yokoyama still lives in temporary housing in Miyagi prefecture (state), where 11,000 people died last year in the disaster, The Associated Press reported.

“This is unmistakably mine. It's miraculous,” Yokoyama said on Japanese TV, according to the AP.

"I would like to thank the man who found my bike in person, but because it's hard to do that, I'd like to thank him here right now," Yokoyama added in the TV interview, according to Postmedia.

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The tsunami swept millions of tons of debris into the Pacific Ocean, The Guardian reported. 

Much of it sank, but there’s still about 1.6 million tons on the surface, experts told The Guardian.

"It's going to bounce off the western shore of North America, swing back south and come back towards Hawaii and enter that big circular area called the North Pacific Garbage Patch," Bill Francis of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation told the Guardian. "I heard someone say it's like a big toilet that never flushes."

Canadians donated about $10,000 to return the Harley and restore it, Postmedia reported.

"He's lost his family members, but he's got something he probably felt very near and dear to actually coming back, and he'll be able to ride it once again,” Steve Drane, who owns a BC Harley dealership helping in the effort, told Postmedia.

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