17 Oct 2011

Japanese tsunami flotsam spotted in central Pacific

8:15 pm on 17 October 2011

A fishing boat is amongst debris from the Japanese tsunami which has been spotted in the central Pacific Ocean, three thousand miles from Japan.

Scientists at the University of Hawaii say the Russian training ship STS Pallada found the debris after passing the island of Midway.

AFP reports the crew spotted the six metre long vessel adrift and had seen other debris including a television, fridge, wooden boards and plastic.

They hoisted the boat up on to their ship and are trying to trace its owner.

The scientists from the International Pacific Research Centre estimate tsunami debris will wash up on Hawaiian islands in one year and the US west coast in three years.

The magnitude nine quake and subsequent tsunami on Japan's northeast coast in March killed 20 thousand people.