With tsunami warnings blaring, 64-year-old Susumu Sugawara didn’t head for higher ground like most of the 3500 or so inhabitants of Oshima, the small island on which he lives. Sugawara knew that if he let the storm destroy his fleet, his island risked becoming isolated after the calamity subsided. So he got in his favourite boat, “Sunflower”, said goodbye to the rest of his fleet, and headed out to sea to face the tsunami head-on.
In the video above, Sugawara explains how he crashed through four or five waves which he estimated were up to 20m tall – nearly four times the size of the waves his boat was used to facing. Incredibly, he navigated through the storm successfully and has been ferrying people to and from the mainland for the last three weeks. He was right when he made his heroic decision: for the first two of those weeks, the Sunshine was the only vessel making the trip. [CNN]