Water bottle may be tsunami-related

  • Dec. 21, 2011 2:00 p.m.

A Masset resident found a Japanese water bottle on the beach last week that he believes may be the first reported piece of tsunami debris to wash up on Haida Gwaii. Tom Lilley said he was taking his dogs for a walk on Ops Beach Friday morning (Dec. 16) when he found the 500 ml bottle, still capped and full of water. “It’s a clear plastic bottle,” he said. “A little shorter and squatter than our water bottles.” The bottle has Japanese writing on it as well as English words indicating that it contains mineral water. Mr. Lilley said he walks on the beach regularly and talks to other beachcombers, and this is the first piece of flotsam he has come across or heard of that could be related to the tsunami. The March 11 earthquake and tsunami killed thousands of Japanese citizens and uprooted tons of buildings, vehicles, boats, airplanes and everyday objects, washing them out into the Pacific. Currents will eventually wash the debris field to the coast of North America, and some pieces have already been reported in Tofino and Washington State. Mr. Lilley said he expects there is more debris on the west coast of Haida Gwaii, but it’s difficult to get out there in the winter. Northeast winds and high tides are likely to bring debris to the northern shore of the island, he said, and he will be out there looking for more. The Observer is interested in hearing from other islanders who have found possible tsunami flotsam. Email your pictures or information to observer@haidagwaii.ca or call us at 250-559-4680.

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