BBC NEWS May 3rd 2012

The owner has been found of a Harley-Davidson that drifted to Canada after being swept out to sea in the 2011 Japanese tsunami. Details from the motorcycle’s licence plate helped to locate Ikuo Yokoyama.

According to CBC News, Mr Yokoyama lost his home and three family members in the tsunami. The shop that sold the motorcycle to Mr Yokoyama is now hoping to ship the Harley-Davidson back to Japan and restore it.

The Harley-Davidson motorcycle was discovered by Peter Mark on 18 April on the coast of an island in British Columbia. Mr Mark said it was caked with “a lot of corrosion, a lot of rust”, but that he could see the manufacturer’s distinctive logo.

Ikuo Yokoyama told Japanese TV he had bought the bike five years ago

The Canadian realised that the bike could be part of the tsunami debris after he noticed that licence plate was from Miyagi prefecture, the area hardest hit by the March 2011 disaster.

Mr Yokoyama’s bike was inside a large white container he was using as a storage shed, which eventually washed away, leaving the bike partially buried in sand.

“This is unmistakably mine,” Mr Yokoyama told Nippon TV when shown photos of the motorcycle. “It’s miraculous.”

He told the Japanese TV station NHK that he wished to thank the man who found it personally.

In February, US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officials said currents would carry much of the debris 4,000 miles (6,400km) to the coasts of Alaska, Canada, Washington and Oregon between March 2013 and 2014.

Lighter items, such as buoys and bottles, have been among the first to wash ashore on the continent. Last month a football found in Alaska was returned to its owner and a derelict fishing boat was sunk by USCG due to its endangering shipping lanes off Alaska.

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