Earlier this year, a woman from a small island off the coast of Canada traveled around the world to meet with the owner of a Japanese fishing boat that washed up on her shores last summer.
CBC reports that Jeanne Beaver and her husband Rick discovered the boat last June while beachcombing near their floating cabin in Aristazabal Island's Borrowman Bay in British Columbia.
By that point, the small fishing vessel, called 'The Glory Light,' had weathered more than 15 months at sea since the March 2011 tsunami tore it from its home. It traveled over 6,000 kilometers from Minaminsanriku, a small fishing village that was leveled during the natural disaster.
The Beavers say they felt an undeniable connection to the boat's Japanese owners.
“When we found the boat, [for] some reason I … had this feeling that I am meant to come here and see this for some reason. I don’t know what it is yet,” Jeanne told CBC's Mark Kelley. "There is a reason the boat came to our place."
Soon after, the Beavers were able to confirm that the owners, Noriko Gotoh and her husband Takao, had made it through the disaster safely. "Thank goodness he was not harmed in Japan," Jeanne told the Vancouver Sun. "We were so delighted to hear the owner of the boat was alive and well."
Recently, Jeanne went to Japan to track down the Gotohs and learn more about the devastation cause by the quake.
The elderly couple, who used to make a living by fishing and harvesting seaweed before the tsunami, have since had to move into a tiny temporary home.
Despite her initial reluctance, Noriko was grateful to Jeanne for taking on the task of caring for her old boat.
"We feel it's a part of history," Jeanne told the Vancouver Sun. "We really want to pay honor to the boat, fix it up to what it was."
As the Gotohs continue with their recovery, Jeanne says she has taken away a life lesson from their perseverance: "You can get over anything. If she can get over what she has gone through and still smile, what have I got to complain about in my life? Nothing."