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Japanese Tsunami Survivor's Football Returned, via the Alaskan Coast

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Last year, 16-year-old Misaki Murakami's life was turned upside down when Japan's tsunami claimed his home and its contents. But now a beachcomber from Alaska has found one of his most treasured possessions—an autographed football—washed up on the US coast, and is sending it back to him.

The Guardian reports that David Baxter from Kasilof, Alaska, found the ball while beachcombing on Middleton Island, 70 miles south of the Alaskan mainland. He explains:

"When I first saw the soccer ball I was excited to see it and I thought it was possible it came from the tsunami zone."


The ball—which was given to Murakami in 2005 as a goodbye gift when he moved schools—has travelled more than 3,000 miles in order to wash up on the Alaskan coast. He seems pretty happy to be getting it back:

"It was a big surprise. I've never imagined that my ball has reached Alaska. I've lost everything in the tsunami. So I'm delighted."


The majority of the debris from Japan's tsunami is expected to wash up on the the coasts of Alaska, Canada, Washington and Oregon between March 2013 and 2014. Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have said that the ball is one of the first pieces of debris to wash up in the US. [The Guardian]

Image by puer.aeternus under Creative Commons license