Just a little over a year later, debris from the Sendai earthquake and its subsequent tsunami is starting to make its way across the Pacific Ocean, with the first bit major piece of fallout to hit Canadian soil just now being reported. Though the effects to the motorcycle industry were only a small portion of the overall devastation, for our purposes it seems fitting that the first sizable item to wash ashore is a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Landing in the Haida Gwaii islands of British Columbia, the Harley-Davidson Softail was discovered by Peter Mark, who was riding his ATV along the coast of the isolated beach.
Trapped inside a cargo container of a moving truck, which has a insulating foam liner, the rusted and battered motorcycle floated across the Pacific Ocean, along with some golf clubs, tools, and camping equipment. With a Japanese license plate from the Miyagi Prefecture, one of the most devastated regions to be hit by last year’s tsunami, officials hope to be able to identity the owner of the motorcycle from the bike’s VIN and plate.
“I gotta say, the first thing that popped into my mind when I was looking at the scene [was] I really wonder what happened to this person,” said finder Peter Mark to CBC News. “I really hope this person is OK,” he said. “It’s quite a shock to actually see it and to actually walk into it … [It's] quite an eerie feeling, knowing what happened to Japan and to those people. It kind of hits home quite a bit.”
With the Japanese consulate to Canada working on finding the bike’s owner, and whether that person survived the earthquake and tsunami, this particular motorcycle right now has quite a chilling story, that hopefully will conclude with a happy ending. More as we get it.