Monday, February 24, 2003

No, Really. 2.24.03

from Yahoo News/ the Associated Press:

Overboard Shoes Drifting Toward Alaska
Mon Feb 24, 9:09 AM ET

ANCHORAGE - Thousands of pairs of Nike basketball shoes are washing up on beaches from Washington State to Alaska after spilling from a container ship in Northern California.

There's just one hitch to finding a free pair.

"Nike forgot to tie the laces, so you have to find mates," said Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer, an oceanographer who tracks sneakers, toys and other flotsam across the sea. "The effort's worth it 'cause these Nikes have only been adrift a few months. All 33,000 are wearable!"

A beachcomber told Ebbesmeyer about the shoe spill after finding two new blue-and-white EZW men's shoes washed up near Queets on Washington's Olympic Peninsula on Jan. 9 and 16.

Unfortunately, they were sizes 10 1/2 and 8 1/2. Both were lefts.

A little research by Ebbesmeyer confirmed that a ship lost cargo Dec. 15 during a storm off Cape Mendocino, including three 40-foot containers each carrying an estimated 5,500 pairs of shoes.

"Nikes will be soon in your neck of the sea," Ebbesmeyer said in an e-mail message to the Anchorage Daily News last week. "Only two have been found, so your readers can be amongst the first to report in!"

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