VANCOUVER, British Columbia, March 8 (UPI) —
A Canadian woman who found a Japanese fishing boat on the coast of British Columbia traveled to Japan to find the boat’s original owner, officials said.
The boat was discovered by Jeanne and Rick Beaver on an island north of Vancouver Island last summer, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.
"We were just going out in the dinghy, touring around a bit, and I just glanced over at the beach, and I saw what I thought was an odd-shaped, an odd-colored log," Jeanne Beaver said. "I didn’t really say anything to Rick, just kept going. And the next day, he went out by himself to take the dogs for a walk, and he came flying around the corner and, ‘We’ve got a boat! We’ve got a boat!’"
Jeanne Beaver traveled to Japan to find the original owner of the boat for a special episode of the show "The Fifth Estate" to commemorate the second anniversary of the 2011 tsunami.
Beaver found that the boat, called "The Glory Light," belonged to Noriko Gotoh, 70, and her husband Takao, 73, of Minamisanriku. The boat was ripped from its cleats and swept away during the tsunami.
"The waves lifted our two-storey house and carried it away," Noriko Gotoh said.
About 5.5 million tons of debris was swept into the ocean following the tsunami. About 1.6 million tons of that debris is expected to wash ashore in North America in the next two years.