Washed-up Harley back with owner a year after tsunami

Published: 12:03PM May 18th, 2012
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A JAPANESE registered Harley-Davidson bike inside a Styrofoam-lined container found washed up in Canada is set to be shipped back to its owner a year after the tsunami.

Washed-up Harley back with owner a year after tsunami

The container and motorcycle was found by Peter Mark, who was exploring a remote stretch of the west coast of British Columbia, Canada.

He made the find on April 18, when he came across a large white container looking like a van, just below the high tide mark. Video taken at the time of the tsunami shows lots of similar white trucks getting washed away.

He explained: “The door was ripped off it and I could see a motorcycle tyre sticking out,” he said. “So I went closer and looked inside and saw a (rusty) Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

“I looked a little closer and the wall of the trailer had Japanese print on the tags. And I thought this is likely from the tsunami in Japan. The first thing that popped into my mind when I was looking at the scene (was) I really wonder what happened to this person. I really hope this person is okay.”

The licence plate shows the Harley, described as “a bit worse for wear from the salt water”, was registered in Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture, 3800 miles away. This area was one of the most affected parts of Japan by the natural disaster, with more than 11,000 people thought dead and missing.

After the news broke, a Harley-Davidson representative tracked down the owner, Ikuo Yokohama. Harley is looking to pay for the return of the bike to the 29-year-old resident of the town of Yamamoto. Mr Yokohama, who lost three family members and his home to the tsunami, called the discovery of the motorcycle as ‘miraculous’ and sent his thanks to Mr Mark and Harley.

When asked by Japanese television station NHK what he would like to say to his Harley, Yokohama, who is still living in temporary accommodation, laughed and said: (in Japanese) “Thanks for coming back, buddy.”

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