The high school in the Japanese coastal town of Rikuzentakata was completely destroyed following the tsunami of 2011, along with 80% of the buildings in the city. Now, however, they may get their lost boat back, thanks to Facebook.
The Humboldt State University Redwood Coast Tsunami Work Group positively identified the boat used by Takata High School's marine science program after it washed upin Crescent City, California. The two cities are nearly 5,000 miles apart, and the boat became thickly blanketed by barnacles during its trip.
After scraping off the sea creatures, the Tsunami Work Group and the local university identified the high school name and city name written on the boat. They then posted pictures of the boat with this information to Facebook and less than two hours later, Rikuzentakat's global public relations representative Amya Miller found the posting.
Miller then confirmed the 20-foot boat with a Takata High School teacher. Unlike the recovered tsunami Harley Davidson found in Canada set to be made into a memorial, the boat transported will be shipped back across the Pacific. Miller told the local California paper The Triplicate how elated her Japanese town is over the discovery.
Everything that was lost, we just never expected to find again. That something made it across the Pacific and landed practically on your doorstep, is one of those ‘you can’t make this up' moments. Right now everyone is in sort of a giddy state of shock.
Only 26 of the 1,700 tsunami objects reported to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration here in the US are positively identified. This is the first identification from the 2011 tsunami made in California.
Photo Credit: Redwood Coast Tsunami Work Group/Facebook