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Sightseeing boat still perched atop Iwate hostel roof

23 Comments

Prior to March 11, the sightseeing boat Hamayuri used to attract many tourists each day, leaving from its home port of Kamaishi in Iwate Prefecture, for a cruise along the coast.

But since the earthquake and ensuing tsunami that washed away a number of towns, the boat has been perched atop a hostel's roof in Kamaishi's neighboring town of Otsuchi. The town is trying to figure out the best way to remove the 27-meter-long boat before it collapses through the roof and causes further damage.

In order to be removed, however, the boat must be dismantled – despite miraculously being in perfect shape and working order.

According to Hideaki Kariya, 59, the boat's captain for 14 years, Hamayuri was in Otsuchi port when the tsunami struck. He had evacuated and from a vantage spot, he saw the boat tossed by the tsunami approximately six meters up in the air before it was carried into the town where it finally came to rest on the 2-story hostel’s roof.

To everyone’s surprise, however, the boat was not damaged even slightly. Nevertheless, the town has decided to dismantle it out of fear that the continuing aftershocks will cause it to crash through the hostel's roof. The boat will be cut up into pieces, which will be removed by a crane.

Kariya wishes that Hamayuri could have a different future. “It is still perfectly seaworthy, but I don't want to argue for it to be saved because that would cause too much trouble for everyone.”

In the tsunami aftermath, approximately 4,000 boats were displaced in Iwate alone. Prefectural officials are still searching for many of the owners.

© Compiled from news reports

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


23 Comments
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nice look though. Hotel "Under Boat".

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It would be really interesting if they could save the boat. I think it would also be neat if they could keep it perched ontop of a building somewhere to remind people of the power of tsunamis. It could become a sort of tourist sight in its own right once the area has been rebuilt.

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they may use gas balloons to lift it in the air and then put it down on a cart to bring it back to the harbor.

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he saw the boat tossed by the tsunami approximately six meters up in the air before it was carried into the town

Really?

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I guess it will be attracting customers to the hostel from now on...

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That hostel looks much more valuable with the boat than without it. Perhaps they could create a supporting structure using steel I-beams? - that'd probably be no more expensive than removal. Plus, the boat interior could be used as restaurant space or such.

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Laguna, I've had similar thoughts about this and other ships swept inland: if they are reasonably sound structurally and can be made stable, why not put them to use where they came to rest? It would cost a fortune to have a ship shipped inland for use as an unusual building for a restaurant, hotel, museum or whatever; but there they are and it will cost quite a lot to remove them in a process that will effectively destroy them.

I expect various obstacles would arise, not least relating to ownership of the vessels themselves and the land beneath them.

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I wonder what the boat weighs? One big crane or two smaller ones could lift it onto a trailer. However, there may not be sufficient access or sufficiently stable ground there or perhaps they would have done that already.

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Would it not be possible to build a wall around area, flood it, and float the boat off the hotel and onto rollers?

Cutting it up sounds just as expensive, more dangerous, and with precious little to show for it at the end of the day.

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They might even be able to build a structure that will support the boat while they dismantle to the hotel. Then they could build another structure under it, designed to move the boat or lower it. Then disassemble the first structure.

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they left some parts of Kobe untouched after the earthquake, to remind people the brute force of nature and the importance of preparedness. I think it would be appropriate to leave the boat there (with some support work as suggested above) to remind everybody about the dangers of a tsunami

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I think it would also be neat if they could keep it perched ontop of a building somewhere to remind people of the power of tsunamis. It could become a sort of tourist sight in its own right once the area has been rebuilt.

I totally agree. It is a very clever decision in the long run.

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Build a pyramid made of earth,like the Egyptians did, then roll it down on logs.

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That's funny about the Egyptian comment, I also wanted to say in this context that if we knew exactly how the pyramids were built, it would be piece of cake to lift this ship off from the top of that building.

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It would be sad and a real shame to chop it up.

So many alternative good ideas here.

I feel for the owner; how he cannot say too much in the present circumstances...

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Build a ramp, move it under the boat and against the building, then tow it down?

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Heck, even a dirt ramp would do.

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I sent a picture of this boat to "Skylifter" in Australia. The Skylifter is an airship that, in principle, can carry 150 tons over 2,000 Kms. Check it on Google. On the other hand, It would be nice to keep the boat as it is, as a memorial and testimony to the earthquake and tsunami of 11 March, 2011.

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I agree. Keep it there forever so people never forget.

Just make sure they secure it well, and make sure kids don't play around in or near before they do.

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Getting that aluminium ferry off the hostel is the easy bit; one or two mobile cranes would do, but it's several kms inland so my guess is - a) despite pretty much everything between the hostel and the sea being flattened, they just cannot truck it back to the port area (oversize load); b) they will dismantle it (carefully and accurately) and move the sections back to the port area on conventional size trucks and and maybe rebuild it; c) there are other more pressing priorities so they just need to cut it up and get it out of the way.

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I agree with Mangaman. The hostel is going to have to be razed and re-built anyways, so why not prop-up the boat, raze the building, then lower the boat onto a heavy trailer? It seems stupid to destroy something that's still functional in order to "save" something that's been damaged beyond reasonable repair.

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there are other more pressing priorities so they just need to cut it up and get it out of the way.

I think westerner hit the nail on the head. While it would be nice to do something creative with this situation, the realities of time, money and equipment hold sway. Although the Skylifter idea sounds very reasonable - an aircraft like that could do a lot of good, and pretty quickly at that.

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I think that they should try to salvage and save the boat. Why cause someone else to lose more of their life savings after so many other lost so much. Save to boat!

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