10 people confirmed dead from boat accident

2022-04-25 10:33:28China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

No survivors have yet been found and 10 found so far have been confirmed dead on Sunday, after a tour boat went missing on Saturday off Shiretoko Peninsula in Japan's northern island of Hokkaido.

The Japan Coast Guard said on Sunday the seven men and three women they rescued were unconscious when they were sent to a local hospital. Later, it said they all died. The victims were believed to have been aboard the sightseeing boat Kazu I.

With 26 people including two children and two crew members on board, Kazu I reported to the coast guard that its "bow is flooded and sinking" and its engine "failed" at around 1:15 pm on Saturday. Then, it told its operator Shiretoko Yuransen, the local cruise tour company, that it was tilting 30 degrees at around 2 pm before losing contact.

Shiretoko Yuransen said the incident occurred when the boat was in waters off Kashuni Falls, a popular scenic site near the tip of the peninsula and around 27 kilometers northeast of its home port.

It also said all on board were wearing life jackets and the boat's captain and deckhand were on board when Kazu I left port at around 10 am on Saturday.

Local officials said the boat may have encountered high waves and strong winds as the fisheries cooperative said its fishing boats returned to port before noon because of bad weather.

The Coast Guard, Japan's Self-Defense Forces, police and local fishermen are continuing to search the waters near Kashuni Falls.

In Tokyo, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida instructed his Cabinet to "do everything in their power to save lives". Three officials from the transport ministry arrived on Sunday to investigate the cause of the accident.


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