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Tsunami Harley crosses Pacific

2012-05-02 09:36

BIKE FLOTSAM FOUND: A Harley lost at sea will finally make its way back to its Japanese owner, 5000km away.

We've heard of messages being found in bottles thousands of kilometres distant but imagine finding a waterlogged and badly corroded Harley-Davidson in a Japanese storage container.

Peter Mark, a resident of Haida Gwaii on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada, was exploring a deserted beach on Graham Island when he came across the container with the Harley inside. It had been washed away, along with the house in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, outside which it was being used as a garage, by the 2011 tsunami.

5000km SEA TRIP

The motorcyle was caked with "a lot of corrosion, a lot of rust", Mark said. It was among the first items lost in the tsunami to reach the west coast of North America, though in March 2012 an Alaska man found a football and later a volleyball from Japan; their owners were located using names that had been inscribed on the balls.

The Harley "cruiser' and its floating container had drifted 5000km from Japan, the machine badly corroded and damaged but with its licence plate still legible. A Harley-Davidson representative in Japan, who saw the story, managed to track down the owner of the lost bike - 29-year-old Ikuo Yokoyama.

A Harley-Davidson spokesperson said the company was hoping restore the bike and return it to its owner.


Yokoyama said he lost his home and three family members in the tsunami and was now living in temporary accommodation. The motorcycle was being kept at his house in the storage unit when the tsunami struck.

Asked if he wanted to say anything to seafarin' Hog, Yokoyama laughed and said: "Thanks for coming back, buddy!"

A US Coast Guard cutter fired on and sank a fishing boat in the Gulf of Alaska in April, 2012. It had drifted from Japan after the disaster but authorities deemed the boat a hazard to shipping and to the coast.

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