April 23rd, 2012
05:25 AM ET

Soccer ball washed up in Alaska traced to tsunami-hit area of Japan

A soccer ball recently found washed up on a remote Alaskan beach apparently belongs to a teenager from a city devastated by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan more than a year ago.

And it may soon be returned to its owner more than three thousand miles away on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.

David Baxter, a technician at the radar station on Middleton Island in the Gulf of Alaska, came across the ball as he was beach combing.

The ball had Japanese characters written on it, from which Baxter's wife was able to translate the name of a school that was in the area hit by the tsunami, according to a blog post by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

An enormous amount of debris was swept into the Pacific by the tsunami that hit northeast Japan on March 11, 2011, killing thousands of people.

A number of objects, both large and small, have so far made their way as far as the coast of North America, including a rusty fishing trawler that the U.S. Coast Guard sank earlier this month. But the ball "may be the first identifiable item that could be returned," according to the NOAA.

Post by:
Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Alaska • Japan
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Phil Spectre


    April 23, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Jesus

      Yes my child?

      April 23, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Portland tony


    April 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mary

    Too many "O's" I guess 😉 Good post tho

    April 23, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. inuit

    It's just pollution. Eskimos don't play soccer and the thing is radioactive anyway.

    April 24, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  5. lololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololoolo

    who says eskimos dont play soccer?! dude, you have like no imagination! mwah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! -A

    April 26, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |