Confirmed Tsunami Debris found in Daly City, CA
September 1st, 2015 update: Below is the information I received today via e-mail from NOAA who was in contact with the Japanese Consulate: (click "Show more" below)
I heard back from the Japanese Consulate in San Francisco that the Japanese government found the owner of this crate (in the Tohoku area) and confirmed that the item was washed to sea by the 2011 tsunami. The owner does not wish to have the item back - you are free to use it in outreach or for other purposes. This is only the third confirmed Japan tsunami debris item in California.

I want to note that the first two confirmed tsunami debris found in the State of California were both fiberglass boats/skiffs, one found in Crescent City in 2013 and one found in Humboldt County in 2014, and this green crate is the first confirmed tsunami debris found in the San Francisco Bay Area.

During a monthly Pacifica Beach Coalition cleanup event at Mussel Rock on the Daly City/Pacifica border on July 25th, 2015 my son and I found this green crate washed up onto the rocks/rip-rap north of Mussel Rock proper. The crate is a TS-33 manufactured by Sekisui Techno Molding Company. It has a 33 liter capacity. I believe the holes drilled in the sides and bottom were done by the end user, like a fruit picker or fisherman for drainage purposes, since the holes aren't drilled straight, nor do they appear to be molded in. The holes are not shown on the manufacturer's web site either.

My friend Mary Ellen posted photos of the crate to Reddit that same day and right away someone posted a link to a blog about a fisherman who was aboard their vessel during the tsunami. The top line of characters mean Yamada Port, and the bottom line says Terumaru, with maru being a common ship suffix. Yamada was hard hit by the tsunami on March 11th, 2011. Yamada's primary industry is fishing, including the tending of oyster beds that were all but wiped out in the tsunami. Here is a link to the fisherman's blog in question: ameblo.jp/alpheriwate/entry-10903914746.html
The markings on this container and the markings in the photos of the ship in this blog are an exact match. I believe this information is part of what led to this being only the third piece of confirmed tsunami debris found in the State of California.

The GPS coordinates where this item was found were: 37.669505°, -122.496154°. The point to point distance from the docks at Yamada, Iwate Prefecture, to where this was found in Daly City, California is exactly 4,902 miles, though this crate likely travelled a much greater distance being at sea for just over four years. If this crate washed up the morning we found it, that means it spent 1,597 days at sea, from Friday, March 11, 2011 until Saturday, July 25th, 2015.

This green crate, while small, is a grim reminder of the devastation of the 2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. In the Iwate Prefecture alone over 4,500 people were known to have died, and even today, there are still over 2,500 people still listed as missing, and Iwate is only one of three Prefectures that were hit hardest by the tsunami. In Yamada, a town of only about 20,000 people, over 600 people died and over 200 were reported missing as a result of the earthquake and tsunami.

My son and I have found lots of other possible/probable tsunami debris before and I have included photos of two of the more unusual items in this album too. On July 27th, 2013 we found an orange "fish crate" near the secret waterfall that was manufactured in Japan, however, the single faded red stencil marking couldn't be traced to any one ship or location so it couldn't be confirmed as tsunami debris. In August of 2014 a small fiberglass boat washed up near Avalon Canyon. Similar boats had been washing up in Oregon and after doing some research on the markings on those boats I made another visit the boat that washed up here and was able to locate a tag with Japanese writing on it. Even with that tag and a Yamaha Motor Company tag visible, there wasn't enough information to confirm this boat as tsunami debris, however, it did get me an honorable mention in the Pacifica Tribune. I also added a photo of a blue crate the GGNRA found over a month before we found our green crate, however, I don't have any news as to the status of that item.

I also added there photos of finds from June of 2016 when an influx of probable tsunami debris happened. All the items were found in a two week period by me, hiking along all accessible beaches, between Fort Funston in San Francisco and Mori Point in Pacifica, which is about 7 miles distance, however, only about 5 miles of beaches were accessible and searchable. On August 27th, 2016 a large green pallet washed up north of Mussel Rock and was found during a Pacifica Beach Coalition clean up event. It had unique markings, however, it could not be confirmed as tsunami debris.
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