'We're Expecting 100 Sneakers With Bones In Them' - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

'We're Expecting 100 Sneakers With Bones In Them'

PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) - An oceanographer who tracks flotsam says West Coast beachcombers may find floating athletic shoes with human remains as more debris from last year's Japanese tsunami finally washes ashore.

"We're expecting 100 sneakers with bones in them," Curt Ebbesmeyer told the audience Monday at a tsunami symposium.

Anyone who discovers such remains should call 911 and wait for police. DNA may identify people missing since the March 2011 tsunami hit Japan.

"That may be the only remains that a Japanese family is ever going to have of their people that were lost," Ebbesmeyer said. "We're dealing with things that are of extreme sensitivity. Emotional content is just enormous. So be respectful."

The three-day symposium in Port Angeles and Sequim was hosted by the Clallam County Marine Resources Committee in partnership with the Surfrider Foundation and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Ebbesmeyer is the co-creator of the Ocean Surface Current Simulator computer model, which predicts the movement of ocean flotsam worldwide using known ocean current patterns along with wind speed and direction information provided by the U.S. Navy.

Ebbesmeyer displayed a series of slides showing computer simulations of debris transport developed by his colleague, oceanographer Jim Ingraham of DriftBusters Inc.

Fast-moving debris from the Japanese tsunami, including oyster farm buoys, soccer balls and a shipping container holding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle with Japanese license plates, has already arrived on the shores of North America.

In April, the Coast Guard sank a 164-foot vessel, the Ryou-Un Maru, in the Gulf of Alaska after it was dislodged by the tsunami.

"I'm expecting 100 vessels over the next couple of years," Ebbesmeyer said.

About 400 Japanese buoys have washed up in Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and British Columbia, he said.

A soccer ball discovered in Alaska was traced to a boy who lives in Northern Japan. A basketball that landed on Prince of Wales Island was traced to a Japanese middle school.

Ebbesmeyer is retired from a career that included tracking icebergs, the 1989 Exxon Valdes oil spill, and Puget Sound currents that affect sewage outflows. He wrote the 2009 book, "Flotsametrics and the Floating World: How a Man's Obsession with Runaway Sneakers and Rubber Ducks Revolutionized Ocean Science."

Ingraham has retired from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, where he created computer models of ocean currents. The Seattle consultants produce the "Beachcombers Alert" newsletter.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Court documents offer disturbing details in Spokane infant's death

    Court documents offer disturbing details in Spokane infant's death

    Saturday, August 18 2018 2:34 AM EDT2018-08-18 06:34:50 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Court documents are offering more details about a disturbing case of child abuse in Spokane. Investigators arrested 33-year-old Erik Sherman in the death of his baby Thursday. One doctor who witnessed the abuse told investigators in court documents it was "one of the worst cases of child abuse he had seen in 23 years of practice."

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Court documents are offering more details about a disturbing case of child abuse in Spokane. Investigators arrested 33-year-old Erik Sherman in the death of his baby Thursday. One doctor who witnessed the abuse told investigators in court documents it was "one of the worst cases of child abuse he had seen in 23 years of practice."

    >>
  • Legal battle raging over home owned by Shasta Groene but used by her dad

    Legal battle raging over home owned by Shasta Groene but used by her dad

    Saturday, August 18 2018 2:37 AM EDT2018-08-18 06:37:31 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - 13 years ago Shasta Groene lived through unimaginable horror. In mid-May, 2005, her mother, her mother's boyfriend, and her oldest brother were murdered in front of her. 8-year-old Shasta was kidnapped and, along with her 9-year-old brother Dylan, tortured and sexually abused for weeks. 

    >>

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - 13 years ago Shasta Groene lived through unimaginable horror. In mid-May, 2005, her mother, her mother's boyfriend, and her oldest brother were murdered in front of her. 8-year-old Shasta was kidnapped and, along with her 9-year-old brother Dylan, tortured and sexually abused for weeks. 

    >>
  • Lawyer says girls' bodies were submerged in oil

    Lawyer says girls' bodies were submerged in oil

    Friday, August 17 2018 9:16 PM EDT2018-08-18 01:16:06 GMT

    FREDERICK, Colo. (AP) - A lawyer for a Colorado man suspected in the deaths of his pregnant wife and two young daughters says the daughters' bodies were submerged in crude oil for four days before they were found.  Defense attorney James Merson made the statement in a court motion Friday. The motion asks a judge to order that DNA samples be taken from the children's throats.

    >>

    FREDERICK, Colo. (AP) - A lawyer for a Colorado man suspected in the deaths of his pregnant wife and two young daughters says the daughters' bodies were submerged in crude oil for four days before they were found.  Defense attorney James Merson made the statement in a court motion Friday. The motion asks a judge to order that DNA samples be taken from the children's throats.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/