There was some excitement at the SEASIDE AQUARIUM recently when the BBC came to film the aquarium’s resident celebrity, TSU, the striped beakfish. Tsu’s claim to fame is that she hitchhiked a ride in a 20-foot fishing boat, the SAI-SHO-MARU, rode across the ocean from Japan after the 2011 tsunami, and washed up on the Long Beach (Wash.) Peninsula.

Tsu’s story, which made international news, captured the attention of NADEGE LAICI, a researcher at the BBC Natural History Unit in Bristol, England. “Nadege, along with two other crew members, filmed Tsu and interviewed our general manager, KEITH CHANDLER,” TIFFANY BOOTHE of the aquarium told the Ear.

Tsu, who is pictured with her BBC cameraman in a photo by Tiffany, will make her debut in a documentary called “Nature’s Weirdest Events.”

The Sai-sho-Maru – which, by the way, is on display at the Columbia River Maritime Museum – has been in the news lately, too. KGW reporter KYLE IBOSHI recently made a trip to RIKUZENTAKATA, Japan, where the boat started its journey, and posted a story about his visit with the original owner, KATSUO SAITO (, who also lost his daughter in the disaster.

The museum asked the reporter to present Katsuo with a handle and piece of rope that had been removed from the Sai-sho-Maru as a keepsake, and the fisherman immediately added the boat parts to the family shrine.

“I love this boat,” he said. “It survived. So should I.”

— Elleda Wilson


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