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March 23, 2012 at 8:22 PM

Fishing boat carried away by tsunami spotted off Canada

The Victoria Times Colonist

A Japanese fishing boat has been spotted in the ocean west of the Queen Charlotte Islands, the first large piece of a massive debris field resulting from a tsunami in Japan a year ago.

The abandoned squid boat was spotted earlier this week by an aircraft contracted by the Canadian government to patrol the coast.

“We don’t know the name of the boat but we used its registration number to trace it back to [Japan],” said Jeff Olsson, marine controller at the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria.

“We don’t know much about it — it’s going to be quite a while before it makes landfall,” said Olsson, adding that it’s more than 100 nautical miles off the coast.

The vessel is white with a small cabin amidships and has streaks of rust down its sides, said Olsson.

This is one of several Japanese ships being tracked by authorities, Olsson said.

On March 11, 2011, an earthquake struck off the coast of Japan, generating a large tsunami with waves of heights of up to 130 feet. The sea flooded about six miles inland. Homes, ships, vehicles and most everything else in its path were carried out to sea.

The Japanese government is working with counterparts in North America to come up with a plan under which traceable items washed ashore can be returned to their owners in Japan.

Comments | More in General news | Topics: Japan, Queen Charlotte Islands, tsunami

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