Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys®: Last week, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle that was lost in last year’s tsunami washed up on a Canadian island nearly 4,000 miles away. If only that motorcycle could talk, its travels would become an instant bestseller. Through rough seas and shark infested waters, the container carrying the bike traveled along until it finally reached land over a year later. The motorcycle’s owner, Ikuo Yokoyama, was immediately contacted through the motorcycle’s license plate and remarkably reunited with his lost bike. Even though the bike was encrusted with corrosion and rust, Yokoyama recognized it instantly. Sadly, retrieving his lost bike was bittersweet; Yokoyama lost three of his family members in the horrific March 2011 tsunami.
Originally, scientists estimated that nearly 18 million tons of debris was swept into the Pacific Ocean after the disastrous 2011 tsunami. While Yokoyama’s Harley Davidson motorcycle is one of the first pieces of tsunami debris to wash up on Canadian shores, it certainly won’t be the last. Experts predicted that the bulk of the debris will not actually wash up on the coasts of Alaska, Canada, Washington, and Oregon until March of 2013.
Now that the tsunami debris is beginning to wash up on United States and Canadian shores, it raises an interesting moral and ethical question: How do we deal with tsunami debris that might be the only physical connection to the 20,000 people who were killed? It is hopeful that most people who find tsunami debris would treat such objects with respect and reverence, but sadly, there are many who would view this as an opportunity to obtain bizarre treasure. While there are tsunami debris coordinating committees being formed to deal with the bulk of the debris, beachcombers who find such items should turn them in to the appropriate departments immediately. Remember, there are numerous Japanese families who are still grieving the loss of their loved ones. Any items from them would undoubtedly ease their grief and help heal their wounds.
Harley-Davidson will refurbish the bike and arrange to have the chopper shipped directly to Yokoyama once it has been restored.
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