Students from a Japanese middle school who lost their basketball when it was swept away in the 2011 tsunami are miraculously playing with the ball again after it was returned since washing up on an Alaskan shoreline back in March.
The basketball, which made its way across the Pacific Ocean from Japan following the tsunami, was found by a student in March near a beach in Craig, Alaska, the Associated Press reported.
The basketball was able to be traced back to the Japanese middle school because it had the words Kesen chu, short for Kesennuma Chugakko or Kesennuma Middle School in Rikuzentakata, printed on it, the AP reported.
The basketball lost in the tsunami has now been returned via FedEx. Students in Alaska wrote words in support of the Japanese students, half of whom are now living in temporary housing due to the 2011 tsunami, according to the AP.
The Japanese students rejoiced as they opened up the package and began playing with the returned basketball.
The basketball is among the first lost items from the tsunami to be returned, KTVA reported, citing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA.]
Besides the basketball, other possessions that have been returned to victims of the tsunami include a soccer ball, volleyball and a yellow buoy that hung outside a restaurant in Minamisanriku-cho, KTVA reported.
NOAA is encouraging anyone who thinks they may have found debris from last year's tsunami to take a picture of the item and send it with other useful information to email@example.com.