Home LATEST NEWS Tourist boat sinking in Japan kills at least 10

Tourist boat sinking in Japan kills at least 10


We confirm the death of all ten people found after the sinking of the boat Kazu I, told AFP a spokesman for the coast guard, adding that the search for the missing continues.

The ten people who died are seven men and three women.

Despite forecasted bad weather, the Kazu I set sail on Saturday morning with 26 people on board to sail along a side of the Shiretoko Peninsula, a preserved natural area northeast of the large northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. .

It was clear that the sea state was going to get worse, and I told them not to go outtold the operator of another tourist boat to the public television channel NHK. But they went anyway.

The crew sent out a distress call at 1:13 p.m. local time, reporting that the boat was sinking, with its bow tilted at 30 degrees.

Coastguards arrived on the scene three hours after the distress call. Intense research has been going on ever since.

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The police, the Japan Self-Defense Forces and local fishermen are also taking part in the operations, both by sea and by air.

Aerial footage from Japanese public broadcaster NHK showed a helicopter and patrol boats exploring the edge of the peninsula, as well as rescuers on shore scanning a very rugged shoreline, with high crashing waves full of foam against large rocks.

Other Coastguard footage showed rescue workers inspecting crevices on the coast and some objects marked with the inscription Kazu I washed up on the shore.

Conditions far from ideal

The boat was carrying two crew members and 24 passengers, including two children.

All were wearing life jackets. But the waters in the region are currently very cold, with a temperature of just two or three degrees during the day, and the coast is still icy in places.

The sea was rough at the time of the accident: fishing boats in the vicinity had returned to port before Saturday noon due to high waves and strong wind, according to a local fishing cooperative quoted by the news agency. Japanese Kyodo.

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The waves were expected to get higher and higher. I would not have taken to the sea in these conditionstold the Kyodo agency on Saturday a person from the same local tourism sector.

The Kazu I had already suffered damage during an excursion last June, hitting shallows near its home port, according to Japanese media.

This incident did not cause any injuries, but had earned a police investigation targeting the captain of the boat for negligence.

The Shiretoko Peninsula is an important tourist attraction in Hokkaido. The natural site has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005 for its remarkable terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

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