June 30, 2022

Japan boat missing: Nine people found, Coast Guard says

Japan boat missing: Nine people found, Coast Guard says

They were found near Cape Shiretoko on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, according to the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard said four of the nine lost consciousness. The status of the other five is unknown.

Japanese public broadcaster NHK said authorities lost contact with the crew of the Kazuo 1 on Saturday after the crew reported that water flowed into the stern of the ship and it began to sink. NHK said the crew also said those on board were wearing life jackets and that the boat was bent at a 30-degree angle.

The radio said that it had 24 passengers on board, including two children and two crew.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency’s regional office website, the sea water temperature around the area where the boat is believed to have landed was freezing from 35 to 37 degrees Fahrenheit (just under 3 degrees Celsius).

No one was immediately available for comment at the Japan Coast Guard outside normal business hours.

NHK said the Coast Guard received a call from the ship at about 1:15 p.m. (0415 GMT) and dispatched five patrol boats and two aircraft to search. Local media reported that waves in the area reached a height of three meters (9.8 feet) when the boat issued a distress call.

No one answered calls to the office of the company that operates Kazu 1 sightseeing tours. According to its homepage, the ship is carrying 65 people. Tours around the Shiretoko area usually take about three hours, according to the tour company.

NHK said the boat left the port of Otoro around 10 a.m. on Saturday and is expected to return to port by 1 p.m. The waves were high and the fishing boats in the area were back in port by mid-morning.

NHK said the boat was in the Shiretoko Peninsula area in the northern part of Japan’s northernmost island and is believed to have been near Kashino Falls.