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Bryan's Blog

Tsunami Survivor Harley Washes Ashore in B.C.

Monday, April 30, 2012
Saw a story on CBC News out of British Columbia that gives new meaning to finding treasures along the beach.

A man out riding his ATV on Graham Island in British Columbia made an amazing discovery this weekend – a Harley-Davidson washed up on shore. The motorcycle in question was registered in Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture and was found in the back of a white cargo container of a moving truck. And though salt water has wreaked havoc on much of the metal, the Harley-Davidson emblem on the side of the tank is clear as a billboard.

The article states that Peter Mark was out riding his ATV on a remote stretch of the Haida Gwaii islands of British Columbia when he ran across the incredible find. Despite not being strapped down, the Harley somehow remained in the back of the moving container along with items like golf clubs, tools and camping equipment. The inner walls of the container had a sign written in Japanese with instructions for strapping down objects and the license plate on the motorcycle is from Miyagi Prefecture, one of the hardest-hit areas from the tsunamis that followed the Senadi earthquake. Video footage from the area shot at the time of the tsunami shows several white cargo trucks like the one found in B.C. washing out to sea in the aftermath, all evidence that supports that this motorcycle has spent the last year drifting across the Pacific.

Mark reportedly left everything where he found it and in an interview with CBC News “urged others to treat tsunami debris with respect.” The Japanese consulate reportedly is using the motorcycle’s license plate number in an attempt to track down its owner, but the area suffered heavy casualties during the natural disaster.

One of the most poignant pictures I remember from the aftermath of the Senadi earthquake involved a man and his bike. It shows a young man wearing a ball cap sitting next to his vintage 1950s era Harley surrounded by devastation and debris, the windows of a multi-story structure behind him blown out. Though the bike is battered, it looks repairable, and the young man has gotten it back up on two wheels as he surveys the damage. You can tell it is a prized possession and shows the spirit of the Japanese people and conveys a sense of hope in desperate times. The bike withstood the surge fairly well, too, so gotta give Harley some credit for making some seriously heavy duty motorcycles.

Even in its current state, can you imagine the triumphant reunion this Harley found on the island in B.C. symbolizes? We hold out hope the owner is still alive and if this reunion does indeed happen, maybe the incredible story will compel The Motor Company to help return this bike to its former glory.

* As a follow up to the story, Harley-Davidson tweeted today, Tuesday May 1, that "We’ve located the owner of this Harley and we’re looking into ways to help him recover it. Stay tuned!"

* Click on the link to CBC News to check out pictures of the seafaring Harley.
Post Tags: Japanese tsunami, Senadi earthquake, Harley-Davidson, Harley from tsunami washes ashore
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