Japan hero rides out Tsunami, saves boat to transport people

By on Apr 4, 2011 in Asia, Natural Disasters Comments

A 64-year old Japanese boat owner is now being considered as a hero on his island in Oshima, after he rode against the tsunami to save his boat, which is now being used to transport people.

Japan hero Susumu Sugawara
Image Credit: CNN News Video

In a story post at CNN on Sunday, April 3, 2011, a boat owner named Susumu Sugawara became a hero when he decided to face the killer tsunami on March 11, with others who tried but was not able to return.

According to CNN, Sugawara ran to his boat “Sunflower” when the huge tsunami hit Japan including his island, Oshima, while everyone was going up the hill to save their life.

“I knew if I didn’t save my boat, my island would be isolated and in trouble,” Sugawara told CNN, as his boat can be able to hold around 20 passengers.

The boat owner steered his “Sunflower” into the deeper part of the water and faced the series of huge waves in front of him, noting that the height of each wave is about four times higher than he usually encounter.

“I talked to my boat and said you’ve been with me 42 years. If we live or die, then we’ll be together, then I pushed on full throttle.” Sugawara added.

As he passes the tsunami, Sugawara said he saw his other boats but helplessly let them be swayed away as he could not count anymore how many big waves have passed by.

For three weeks since the disaster hit Japan, Sugawara have been consistently using his boat to transport people in his island and he does not ask for money, although a few of them pay him 300 yen or around $3.5 for the fuel.

Oshima Island is believed to have about 3,500 residents, with 35 of them became casualties and others still missing.

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