A small fishing boat drifted across the Pacific Ocean until it was found and claimed by Ernie Mason near Klemtu on the central coast in 2013.
Tim McGrady of the Spirit Bear Lodge saw the boat, and thought it could be put to use for their bear viewing tours.
A Japanese-Canadian guest of the lodge noticed the Japanese writing on the boat, and helped McGrady track down its former owner.
Almost exactly a year later, Kou Sasaki arrived in Vancouver today.
It was his boat that was swept away by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of Japan.
Not only did he lose his boat, his wife and son were killed during the disaster.
This Friday he’ll arrive in Klemtu, and see the boat he lost years ago.
He’ll be greeted with a welcome and blessing ceremony led by Hereditary Chief Charlie Mason.
Sasaki will also go bear watching in his former fishing boat.
McGrady says he’s happy to finally bring some closure to Sasaki.
He says knowing the First Nations connection with the ocean, and imagining the owner of the lost boat having an equally strong attachment, it made sense to reunite the two.
He says he also gets a sense of closure to finally know the whole story of the fishing boat that washed ashore from Japan.
The boat will stay in Klemtu, Sasaki has new fishing boat since the losing his old one.