Tsunami ‘Ghost Ship’ Surfaces

Ghost Ship
(Credit: CNN)
Ghost Ship
(Credit: CNN)

A 150-foot Japanese fishing boat was washed away in the tsunami over a year ago has been spotted, reports CNN.com.

The boat was seen on the opposite side of the Pacific Ocean, aimlessly bobbing along the coast of the Haida Gwaii islands, British Columbia.

After the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, nearly 8 million tons of debris was flushed out to sea. It’s being assumed that 2 million tons of the wreckage is still floating on the sea’s surface.

The vessel which is now being referred to as a “ghost ship” originally belonged to a Hokkaido squid fishing company. Luckily, it was confirmed that no one was thought to have been onboard before the tsunami hit.

The ship was found by a patrolling aircraft in Canada. The Canadian transport ministry is keeping an eye on the “ghost ship” to make sure it doesn’t interfere with other boats and that it is not leaking pollution.

Ever since the Japanese tsunami, researchers have been trying to determine the extent the wreckage and garbage has affected the Pacific Ocean. Hawaii beaches were polluted with some debris in October 2011 and then two months later in December 2011, tsunami flotsam made its way to Washington state. According to NOAA models, California beaches should have been polluted with debris by now also.

The models are predicting the tsunami debris will eventually end up in the Pacific Garbage Patch Gyre, and California current and coastal winds are expected to blow the garbage patch back into the ocean.

This fishing boat which was found off British Columbia, though unusual, is just a bigger examples of the type of debris that have washed up on the west coast of North America. It serves as a reminder of the disaster which continues to affect lives even a year later.