Teenager thrilled his soccer ball lost in tsunami made it to Alaska

Teenager thrilled his soccer ball lost in tsunami made it to Alaska A soccer ball, pictured in this NOAA handout photo, washed away during the Japan tsunami has been found on Middleton Island, in the Gulf of Alaska. REUTERS/NOAA/David Baxter

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  • 11

    gyouza

    Nice story, and great that he can have SOMETHING from his home that got washed away.

  • -9

    gogogo

    This is exactly what they should have done with the "ghost" ship that reached Canada instead of sinking it.

  • 6

    hoserfella

    In February, NOAA said currents would carry much of the debris to the coasts of Alaska, Canada, Washington and Oregon

    Thumbs up for the kid. Thumbs down to the hack writer who identified 3 seperate states in the US while assuming Canada is an unidentifiable landmass without seperate provinces and territories (hint; the coast of British Columbia is very far from the coast of, say, Newfoundland) God only knows how knuckleheads like these get actual paid employment.

  • 2

    wanderlust

    So people in Kanto, write your name on everything you own that floats, in case the big one hits, your home is washed away, and the currents take your belongings to the other side of the world. Of course you do rely on their honesty to return them to you...

  • 2

    anglootaku

    That would make for great marketing for the ball manufacturer if they use the story and people in their ads.

  • 0

    Disillusioned

    Sadly, most of the debris is still floating around in a 200k/2 garbage zone in the northern pacific.

  • 3

    smithinjapan

    Awesome story, and I hope the kid gets it back and treasures it. But I also hope he uses it for it's intended purpose. It is a gift, but more than that it is a small sign of hope amidst an otherwise terrible event. Good on the beachcomber and his wife for taking the time to find the kid, talk to him, and for planning to return the ball.

  • 1

    gogogo

    Sad part is that some of his friends that signed it might not have been so lucky. I hope this kid treasures this gift, it is a great story.

  • -7

    NetNinja

    You mean to tell me the United States Coast Guard didn't use the kids soccer ball for target practice? Lucky kid.

  • 5

    yanee

    I'm thrilled that the owner of the ball is still alive!

  • 3

    BurakuminDes

    Feel-good story of the year this. It will definitely cheer up the people of Tohoku. Good on this young kiddie. How about organising a charity match between an Alaska Select 11 and Tohoku 11 - made up of schoolkids and maybe a few superstars? The proceeds can all go to the orphans of Tohoku - and they could even use this very ball (or it can be the trophy!)?

  • 4

    BurakuminDes

    PS - the ball needs a nickname. I suggest "Wilson"...

  • -8

    Cletus

    Good to see the kids ball has been found. But l think its high time the J government got off its lazy good for nothing butt and started to help clean up its mess that is now starting to impact other nations. If they cant spare manpower or vessels then maybe they could start paying for the cleanup. Afterall it is their mess that is washing ashore in other nations and lm sure if the boot was on the other foot the J government would be standing their with their hands out and their we the victim statement ready to demand assistance.

  • 0

    globalwatcher

    Come and get it! It is all yours.

  • 0

    Darren Brannan

    Story of the year.

  • 1

    Tom DeMicke

    Awesome story. This story even made it on ABC (USA) Good Morning America. Sniff, sniff!

  • 0

    TrentonGaijin

    What brand pen did Misaki-chan use to write his name- still looks fresh after a year floating in the Pacific....

    Suggest Mr Baxter send it to Nagasaki-san, the hermit of Sotobanari Island- we all know soccer balls make great friends for people living alone on islands....

  • 0

    Skeeter27

    It's nice to see some good news !!!

  • 0

    Patric Spohn

    I am not native but to my education this article is not very well written. Sorry JT.

  • 0

    kitzrow

    Sure hope the Baxter family change their mind about meeting the boy! What a grand story that would be and thinking of the boy and all he lost ... he deserves it. Heart-warming story . . .!

  • -1

    yokatta

    Great story! A new sister city in the making now?

  • 0

    choiwaruoyaji

    Beautiful story... very moving.

  • 0

    CrazyJoe

    I'm surprised the soccer ball didn't lose its air pressure for such a long time.

  • 1

    jonobugs

    The ghost ship that was sighted was a derelict ship awaiting decommissioning (is that the right term?). No one wanted the ship back and to do so would have cost a lot of money for something no one wanted back.

    The soccer ball is a completely different matter as it is something the boy was more than happy to get back.

  • 1

    Fadamor

    Thumbs down to the hack writer who identified 3 seperate states in the US while assuming Canada is an unidentifiable landmass without seperate provinces and territories (hint; the coast of British Columbia is very far from the coast of, say, Newfoundland)

    I'm guessing the "hack" writer assumed that the readers would know that there's only one province of Canada that borders the Pacific Ocean (unlike states, of which there are four), so there was no need to identify the individual province. If anybody thought Alberta or Saskatchewan was going to get debris from the Tohoku tsunami, then they need to go back to school and brush up on their geography.

  • 3

    Fadamor

    Good to see the kids ball has been found. But l think its high time the J government got off its lazy good for nothing butt and started to help clean up its mess that is now starting to impact other nations. If they cant spare manpower or vessels then maybe they could start paying for the cleanup. Afterall it is their mess that is washing ashore in other nations and lm sure if the boot was on the other foot the J government would be standing their with their hands out and their we the victim statement ready to demand assistance.

    Just wondering... How, exactly, is the debris from a natural disaster a particular GOVERNMENT'S mess? Are you saying the government of Japan somehow managed to coerce the earth into shifting so much that a wave of water destroyed thousands of homes and tens of thousands of people's lives? Save your complaining about the government for things they REALLY are responsible for.

  • 0

    Fadamor

    5700 km / 365 days = ~15.5 kilometers per day or ~.65 Kph. Of course, that's assuming the ball was constantly driven towards its final destination and wasn't "detoured" by the wind at times.

  • 0

    sfjp330

    FadamorApr. 24, 2012 - 01:57AM JST. I'm guessing the "hack" writer assumed that the readers would know that there's only one province of Canada that borders the Pacific Ocean (unlike states, of which there are four), so there was no need to identify the individual province.

    If you know geography, there is actually five states that borders Pacific Ocean. You forgot Hawaii.

  • -2

    hoserfella

    I'm guessing the "hack" writer assumed that the readers would know that there's only one province of Canada that borders the Pacific Ocean (unlike states, of which there are four), so there was no need to identify the individual province

    . Fadamor- wrong. The writer should have been able to correctly identify the province rather than the country (or at least write, British Columbia, Canada). Fact is, he probably couldn't point point out Saskatchewan or BC on a map. Sad journalistic standards which contribute to the dumbing-down of society.

  • 0

    Heda_Madness

    But l think its high time the J government got off its lazy good for nothing butt and started to help clean up its mess that is now starting to impact other nations. If they cant spare manpower or vessels then maybe they could start paying for the cleanup. Afterall it is their mess that is washing ashore in other nations and lm sure if the boot was on the other foot the J government would be standing their with their hands out and their we the victim statement ready to demand assistance.

    A complete and utterly disgraceful comment. It was a natural disaster that left 20,000 people dead. 300,000 people homeless and countless towns and villages destroyed. And you want to blame the government? Incredible. Absolutely incredible.

  • -1

    waltery

    He never used the ball by the look of it.

  • 0

    TSRnow

    I saw the boy's interview on TV. He seemed like a really nice kid. I hope he gets to meet the couple. I am sure the TV guys will try to budget that and make a whole documentary show on it, but it is good news, and we need some once in a while.

  • 0

    Elbuda Mexicano

    Sorry but at first I thought this was the tattooed arm of a yakuza! thank goodness just a soccer ball as we call it in american engurish not too sure what the UK folk would call it??

  • -2

    Cletus

    Heda_Madness

    A complete and utterly disgraceful comment. It was a natural disaster that left 20,000 people dead. 300,000 people homeless and countless towns and villages destroyed. And you want to blame the government? Incredible. Absolutely incredible.

    Well Heda based on your statement the nuclear disaster which was also triggered by the quake and tsunami is the same and are you suggesting that we shouldnt ask the government and TEPCO to clean up their mess to because so many died and where left homeless etc etc.

    Ok well did l actually blame the government for the disaster? No. Maybe you should read before sprouting off. I actually made a statement and stand by it that the J government is doing absolutely bugger all to clean up the mess that has been swept into the ocean as a result of this disaster. This mess and yes it is Japans mess as it originated here is impacting other nations and will only get worse and what exactly is the Japanese government doing about it? They can spend 10s of millions to escort whalers, they can spend countless dollars sending military engineers to Sudan but can they provide vessels or financial assistance to nations that are going to get inundated by debris from Japan? No.

    And you know what, when one of those nations does something about the rubbish that came from here and is washing into their waters the crowd on here jump up and down and scream about it. Look at the recent case of the boat, its where abouts was tracked for months, the owner said he didnt want it, the JCG did nothing about it, and when it was removed as a hazard some people on here dared to suggest the USCG was being mean, anti Japanese etc etc. Seriously l swear some here thinks the world revolves around these little islands and they are the center of the universe. So bring on the thumbs down. But tell me lm wrong in expecting at least some contribution to cleaning up a Japanese mess.

  • 0

    Heda_Madness

    I'll tell you what. I'll take you up to any of the temporary housing areas in Tohoku and you can tell the people who are living in a metal box that their memories, their belongings, their lives, their friends and their family members who perished... you can go and tell them that it's Japan's mess. You go and tell the victims that it's Japan's mess and see how they react.

    Or go and tell any Japanese person you see on the train. That the debris from the Tohoku disaster is Japan's mess.

    Or go and tell any one of your friend's down the pub that it's Japan's mess.

    And each individual will look at you with the contempt that you deserve. At best.

  • -1

    Fadamor

    Fact is, he probably couldn't point point out Saskatchewan or BC on a map.

    Your statement sums up the value of your comment. If it truly WAS a fact, then you wouldn't have felt the need to also include the word "probably". Dressing a guess up with the phrase "Fact is" doesn't make it any truer than if you dressed it up with "I'm basing this on what my Ouija Board told me." Lipstick on a pig, my friend.

  • -1

    Fadamor

    If you know geography, there is actually five states that borders Pacific Ocean. You forgot Hawaii.

    Meh. In my mind, there's a difference between sharing a side with something and being surrounded by something. But I guess you're correct. I think I used the wrong term anyways. "Border" implies a line between the two governments. "Boundary" probably would have been a better way to go as the Pacific Ocean hasn't agreed to any borders and in fact keeps eating away at the boundary.

  • -1

    Fadamor

    Cletus, the Japanese government is no more responsible for the Tohoku Tsunami debris than you are. If you want to talk about the Fukushima disaster, fine. They bear culpability in that. But the tsunami debris is A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT MATTER. The government of Japan has no more control over "Mother Nature" than you do, so how much debris have YOU cleaned up from the Pacific Ocean? Why aren't you doing something about YOUR mess?

    • Moderator

      Readers, please cut out the bickering. This is a human interest story.

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