Maui News

PHOTOS: “Musashi” Float Washes Up at Olowalu, Maui

August 14, 2017, 1:29 PM HST
* Updated August 14, 3:13 PM
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A black float bearing the word “Musashi” washed up on Maui’s Olowalu coastline on Sunday, prompting questions over its origin and possible link to the 2011 Japan tsunami.

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Resident Ocean Zbiciak said kids in the area thought it was a shark, but a surfer dragged the barnacle laden item to shore and discovered the wording as well as the markings “V-230.”

Zbiciak said dozens of fish and crabs poured out of the float as it was dragged to shore.

Similar items with the wording “Musashi” have washed up in California, Alaska, Canada and Washington.

The publication Live Science reports that a fishing float that washed up on Moresby Island in British Columbia in 2012 is identical to one discovered on a Washington beach and traced to an oyster farming area hit hard by the 2011 Japanese quake.

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Mark Manuel at the NOAA Marine Debris Program has since confirmed that these types of “Musashi” buoys have been washing up along the entire Hawaiian Archipelago for years, even before the Japan tsunami event. “It is likely that we have seen more of them as a result to the tsunami, but very difficult to accurately link it to the event itself,” said Manuel in an email communication with Maui Now.

Manuel also confirmed that these types of buoys have been linked to oyster aquaculture/farming in Japan.
There was also an inquiry as to whether the buoy could have been from the Japanese battleship Musashi, however Manuel said it’s unlikely that these buoys were fabricated before 1944, which is when the Japanese battleship Musashi was sunk.

Ian Bassford and Max Lozada. PC: OceanLehua Zbiciak

Float/buoy pulled in at Olowalu, Maui (8.13.17) PC: OceanLehua Zbiciak

Haven and Esau Sullivan and Max Lozada. PC: OceanLehua Zbiciak

Float/buoy pulled in at Olowalu, Maui (8.13.17) PC: OceanLehua Zbiciak

Float/buoy pulled in at Olowalu, Maui (8.13.17) PC: OceanLehua Zbiciak

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