Japanese fishing boat drifts to Canada

March 24, 2012 at 2:30 PM

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, March 24 (UPI) -- A Japanese fishing vessel that was carried out to sea by last year's disastrous tsunami has been spotted about 160 miles off the coast of western Canada.

A surveillance plane spotted the vessel Tuesday, The Vancouver Sun reported. The Canadian coast guard issued an alert warning other boats of the potential hazard.

Paul Gray, a senior captain with Vessel Assist, a Canadian towing company, said the "ghost ship" probably has little value after a year of drifting across the Pacific. He said a fishing boat will most likely tow it in as it moves closer to British Columbia because commercial towing companies will not want to spend the money.

Gray predicted more tsunami debris will be showing up soon.

"All that garbage, it's going to hit Alaska, it's going to hit B.C. and it's going to hit Washington," he said.

The boat was described as a 150-foot squid-fishing vessel.

The earthquake that struck Japan March 11, 2011, measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale, and the tsunami that followed killed thousands of people in the country.

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