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Alaska Beat

Less Japanese tsunami debris found on Montague Island shore

  • Author: Craig Medred
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published October 7, 2012

Last week, pilot Bill Wilcox flew over Montague Island, the big island that divides the Gulf of Alaska and Prince William Sound. Wilcox landed on the north side of Patton Bay, which faces the Gulf, intending to check up on Japanese tsunami debris in the area. He found a few things, but not as much as on previous trips.

In an email, Wilcox said he'd visited the beach last spring when there was much more debris. But, Wilcox added, "There are still a few fly swatters and water bottles. Most of the smaller pieces of polystyrene (have) denigrated and much of the polyurethane (too)."

"The last 3 storms (have) exerted a lot of energy on this beach," Wilcox explained. "The logs were pushed up the beach into the grassy areas (and) there was little what I would consider new debris from the tsunami."

During his search, Wilcox found a soccer ball which appears to bear the signatures of at least two Japanese players. He is quick to admit that he's "unfamiliar with soccer," and can't tell "if the signatures are professional players or if it was a signed game ball." But the ball is in fairly decent condition and both signatures are easily legible on the sphere's dingy white surface.

In addition to the soccer ball, Wilcox picked up a pink "polystyrene float that has what appears to be Japanese writing on it."

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