(VANCOUVER) — Just over a year ago, a fishing boat was going about its business near Hokkaido, Japan, when an unimaginable disaster struck — a giant earthquake followed by a horrific tsunami.
This past weekend, that same boat, now nicknamed a “ghost ship,” was spotted about 160 miles off the coast of Vancouver.
The 150-foot freighter is the largest piece of debris to have reached the West Coast of North America since the tsunami that devastated a good portion of northeastern Japan.
No one is believed to be on board the fishing boat. The Japanese government listed its owner as missing.
Canadian authorities don’t consider the ship an environmental hazard although it could soon be washed ashore by a major storm.
The boat has also caught the attention of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, which anticipated that much of the millions of tons of tsunami debris wouldn’t arrive in the U.S. until before next year.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Sugam Pokharel and AJ Willingham, CNN
Ivana Kottasova, CNN