A motorcycle that washed ashore on Canada’s west coast may have drifted across the Pacific after being carried out to sea by last year’s devastating Japanese tsunami, Canada’s CBC television reported.
The Harley-Davidson, with Japanese plates from one of the hardest hit areas, was found on April 18 by beachcomber Peter Mark in acargo container on the Haida Gwaii islands off the coast of British Columbia, it said Monday.
“You just never know what you’re going to stumble upon when you go for a drive and, lo and behold, you just come across something that’s out of this world,” Mark, who was riding an all-terrain vehicle on the beach, told the news outlet.
The container also held new golf clubs, tools and camping equipment.
The Japanese consulate in Vancouver has the plate number and is looking into whether the owner of the motorcycle is still alive, CBC reported.
Japanese and Canadian officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
The plates indicate the motorcycle was registered in Miyagi prefecture, where thousands died during the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
If confirmed, the motorcycle and the container would be the first known debris to wash up in Canada, some 4,500 miles (7,000 kilometers) away.
Some 20 million tons of debris have washed up at other locations since the disaster, and researchers in Hawaii have developed computer models to forecast its movement and predict where and when it could come ashore.
In early April the US Coast Guard sunk a deserted Japanese trawler that had appeared off the coast of Alaska more than a year after being set adrift by the tsunami.