Reports of Japanese boats drifting ashore two years after the devastating earthquake and tsunami of 2011 are still a regular occurrence on the U.S. West Coast.
Some are disposed of and forgotten. Others trigger a desire to return the vessel to its rightful owner.
Such was the case for Northern California high school students who turned the find on their local beach last April of a small wooden boat caked in barnacles and sea life into a restoration project. As it turns out, high school students in Japan own the boat.
Students from Del Norte High School in Crescent City scoured the hull mostly clean of debris that accumulated during its two-year journey and painted the boat. The students say they feel an affinity with the Japanese students because Crescent City’s harbor was severely damaged by tsunami floodwaters.
Now, with the help of a shipping company, the boat is heading home.