KAMAISHI, Iwate Prefecture--A fishing boat that was swept away here by the 2011 tsunami was discovered eight and a half years later around 1,900 kilometers away on a beach in Okinawa Prefecture.

A Japan Coast Guard officer on patrol found the boat in Kin, Okinawa Prefecture, around 10:40 a.m. on Aug. 31, the Nakagusuku Coast Guard Office in the city of Okinawa said.

The name was not indicated on the 0.8-ton vessel, but its registration number showed that it was the Seisho Maru owned by Kiyofumi Sasaki, 74, who lives in Kamaishi’s Toni district.

When the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami struck the Tohoku region on March 11, 2011, Sasaki safely fled to higher ground.

But he said that most of the boats tied to docks in the area were washed away by the tsunami.

Sasaki told The Asahi Shimbun that the boat’s resilience has provided encouragement.

“My wife and I used the small boat to gather seaweed,” he said. “We thought it had sunk somewhere and gave up looking for it. We are amazed that it reached such a far place.”

Boats drifting from tsunami-hit areas to far-off places are not uncommon.

In May 2018, a fishing boat from Yamada, Iwate Prefecture, was found in Nakijin, Okinawa Prefecture. The boat has been preserved at the Nakijin Village History and Culture Center.

Other Japanese vessels, and even a motorcycle, have drifted to the western coast of Canada.

(This article was written by Natsuno Otahara and Masakazu Honda.)