campbell river mirror, july 01, 2015

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July 01, 2015 edition of the Campbell River Mirror

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    WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2015 www.campbellrivermirror.com Newsstand 85

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    J.R. RARDONCAMPBELL RIVER MIRROR

    A transponder that spent more than three years floating in the Pacific Ocean before washing up on Vancou-ver Island has become the subject of a wide-ranging scavenger hunt after mysteriously wind-ing up in Campbell River last week.

    The transponder, part of a group of 12 dropped in the ocean near Fuku-shima, Japan in Janu-ary of 2012, was meant to give oceanographic researchers information on the travel pattern and duration of debris washed out to sea in the tsunami that struck near

    Fukushima in March, 2011.

    After reaching the northwest coast of Van-couver Island earlier this month, the unit identi-fied as T-8 took a sud-den detour to Campbell River, where it continues to send a location sig-nal every 60-90 seconds from a region near Park Drive and Ebert Road, on the north side of Campbell River.

    Throug h s ate l l i te tracking, researchers at Japans Tottori University for Environmental Stud-ies have narrowed the search to an area within 250 metres around that location.

    We are sensitive to the privacy of the individual

    who recovered T-8, said Dr. Samuel Chan, a researcher with the Uni-versity of Oregon. We just want him or her to know that we really appreciate their efforts in helping us under-stand the science of pre-dicting where marine debris might travel and helping us understand how organisms from Asia, some of which could become inva-sive in North America, might survive attached to marine debris in the open ocean.

    Chan believes the per-son who picked up the transponder may have returned it from a trip to the Brooks Peninsula region and forgot about

    it. The device is marked in English, with contact information including phone numbers and email for researchers in Japan.

    A variety of interested parties in B.C. have tried to sleuth out the tran-sponders location and just how it might have traveled from Brooks Peninsula to Campbell River. While on the west coast, the transponders signal zigged and zagged my s t e r i ou s ly f rom Lawn Point to Quatsino Sound to Brooks Penin-sula before crossing the island to Campbell River.

    My first thought was helicopter, Doug Bif-ford, a lands specialist with the provincial gov-

    ernment, told Chan in an email Thursday, when local officials were first contacted. Helicopter logging is very common out in the Lawn Point area. This would explain the movements of the transponder along the coast and back and forth from over the water to over land.

    Researchers briefly thought they had a lead early this week when they learned that Terry Eissfeldt, wife of West Coast Helicopters co-owner Terrance Eiss-feldt, had photographed a cylindrical object with markings near Brooks Peninsula last week.

    Im pretty sure the thing I saw was not

    theirs, said Terry Eiss-feldt. What I saw were markings that said haz-ardous material, and to call the military or police. We didnt pick it up or take it; we left it on the beach.

    The object turned out to be a spent locator flare of the type used by 19 Wing search-and-rescue crews out of CFB Comox.

    CTV news reporter Gord Kurbis literally went door-to-door in the Park Drive area try-ing to locate T-8, and the search has been joined by Living Oceans Soci-ety, Oceans Network Canada and a number of communications special-ists who hope to refine

    the transponders signal to pinpoint its location.

    Of 15 transponders placed in the water to provide researchers information following the 2011 tsunami, T-8 is the first to have made landfall while still con-tinuously pinging infor-mation.

    Three transponders were dispatched shortly after the tsunami, in 2011.

    Thus, T-8 is the first to have a complete his-tory, Chan said.

    We really appreciate the interest and assis-tance from the Camp-bell River community in being part of this science discovery process in locating T-8.

    Search is still on for device tracking Fukushima debris

  • www.CampbellRiverMirror.com WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2015 | CAMPBELL RIVER MIRROR | 3

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    Timberline grad Celeste Amberson leads the singing of O, Canada during the schools graduation ceremony at Rod BrindAmour Arena Thursday. Campbell Rivers two highschools held their graduation ceremonies last week. Carihis grad was held last Wednesday at the BrindAmour Arena.

    Grad 2015

    Nathan Harris gives a wave while walking with fellow grad Sarah Chase during the Timberline Secondary graduation processional at Rod BrindAmour Arena Thursday

    Jill Dunlop is joined by Colby Shaw for a pre-grad selfie while they wait for the start of the Timberline Secondary graduation ceremony.

    www.CampbellRiverMirror.com WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2015 | CAMPBELL RIVER MIRROR | 3

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  • J.R. RARDONCAMPBELL RIVER MIRROR

    Inspired by a national Walk for Reconciliation held in Ottawa a month earlier, a group of local first nations participants held their own walk Monday to call atten-tion to the findings of the Truth and Recon-ciliation Commission and its recently released report on the impacts of the Indian Residential School system on Cana-das aboriginal commu-nities.

    Im a residential school survivor; I had my hearing last week, said Georgina Isaac, who helped organize the local walk. This really inspired me to come together and really work with my community. Its grassroots, because thats where it starts.

    Wh e n w e w or k together and put aside our differences, so much can happen.

    The walk through the We Wai Kum neigh-