Add a location
Edit your saved locations

Tsunami soccer ball washes ashore in Alaska

Staff writers
April 24, 2012 — Many of those caught in last year's earthquake and tsunami in Japan lost virtually everything. But one young man now is about to get a piece of his past back thanks to a beachcomber 5,000 km away.

First tsunami object returned to its owner
First tsunami object returned to its owner

Misaki Murakami hardly expected to see his soccer ball again. He lost it last March in Japan's devastating tsunami. It was a special momento from old friends.

"I was transferred to another school after third grade and my homeroom teacher and classmates gave the ball to me," says Misaki.

But more than 5,000 km away in Alaska, a beachcomber found what turned out to be Misaki's ball. More than a year later it washed ashore on tiny Middleton Island where radar technician David Baxter found it. Baxter's wife translated the name of the school written in Japanese and that lead the couple to Misaki.

"I tried to get the ball back to him or his family and I just wanted to help the young man try to piece his life back together," says Baxter.

"I didn't even imagine that my soccer ball would reach Alaska, thousands of kilometres away from Japan. It is my treasure," adds Misaki.

He says he can't wait to get his old school momento back.

"It has been hard to find my own belongings after the earthquake, but I am very happy that my soccer ball has been found and is coming back to me."

The soccer ball is probably the first tsunami object returned to its owner in Japan.

From CNN

Sign in or Sign up to submit a comment.


Take your weather with you, no matter where you go.

Get instant forecasts and alerts, right on your computer.

  • RSS & Data
Add weather updates to your website or RSS reader.