According to U.S. oceanographer Curt Ebbesmeyer, co-creator of the Ocean Surface Current Simulator computer model, the west coast should be prepared to see human remains as debris from last year’s tsunami in Japan along it’s coastlines. Ebbesmeyer urges beach combers to be respectful of debris, and not to be alarmed if sneakers with bones in them wash ashore.
However, the provincial government isn’t expecting such debris to hit shorelines in B.C. until 2013, and the Tsunami Debris Coordinating Committee finds such claims to be highly unlikely. Human remains if found, will be handled on a case-by-case basis, with the Coroners Service taking the lead.
Volunteers are getting ready for what’s expected to be a busy shoreline clean-up season, which couldn’t be possible without the more than 700 volunteers that signed up for the debris registry within the last week. According to cleanup director Jill Dwyer, volunteers removed as much as 61,875 kilograms of litter from B.C. beaches last year. Dwyer claims that no one is really sure of what to expect as in terms of how much will wash up this year on B.C. shorelines.
Volunteers will be told to contact the local authorities in the case that they happen to come across any human remains during this season’s shoreline cleanup.