Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Heading Into the Tsunami
Susumu Suguwara was in his fishing boat, Sunflower, when he saw the tsunami racing toward him. Instead of turning back to shore, however, Suguwara did just the opposite. Saying a silent goodbye to fishermen in the other boats he passed and offering his apologies for not being able to save them, Sugawara headed for the wave.
"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."
The fisherman was inundated by the thirty-foot wave, but when the water had slipped by him and he saw the shore, he knew he had survived. Four or five more waves followed, but in the end, Suguwara and his Sunflower were intact.
In the weeks since the earthquake and tsunami set off physical, emotional, social, and economic aftershocks in Japan, Susumu Sugawara has been working to transport people, supplies, and medicine to people. He charges no money for his services.