Tsunami-tossed motorcycle's owner found

May 1, 2012 at 8:40 PM

VICTORIA, British Columbia, May 1 (UPI) -- The owner of a motorcycle that washed ashore on Canada's west coast after being swept away during Japan's 2011 earthquake and tsunami has been found.

Ikuo Yokoyama, 29, of Yamamoto, told Japanese television station NHK it is miraculous his Harley-Davidson motorcycle had turned up, and he hoped to thank the Canadian man who found it in person, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

The Japanese man said he had bought the Harley five years ago and has fond memories of riding it across Japan before it was sent into the Pacific Ocean by the devastating tsunami that wiped out his home and killed three family members.

Yokoyama was tracked down by a Harley-Davidson representative in Japan. A company representative told the CBC the motorcycle maker will see if the bike can be restored and returned to Yokoyama.

Asked what he would say to his motorcycle, he laughed and said in Japanese, "Thanks for coming back, buddy."

Peter Mark, 32, had contacted the Japanese Consulate in Vancouver, British Columbia, after making the find on the remote beach on the western coast of Vancouver Island last month, the Victoria Times-Colonist reported.

The bike, which was in a large container along with some camping gear, tools and golf clubs, was corroded by sea water.

"You can't turn the wheel or handlebars," Mark said. "There's a fair bit of corrosion on the motorcycle."

The motorcycle was registered in Miyagi prefecture, the region of Japan hit hardest by an earthquake and tsunami March 11, 2011.

Items have been washing up on British Columbia and Washington state shores for several months. A derelict Japanese fishing vessel was spotted south of Vancouver Island in March but was sunk by the U.S. Coast Guard as a hazard to shipping.

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