Tour Ship with 26 People Aboard Missing off Hokkaido
Sapporo, April 23 (Jiji Press)--A small sightseeing ship carrying a total of 26 passengers and crew members went missing off the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido on Saturday.
At around 1:20 p.m. (4:20 a.m. GMT), the First Regional Coast Guard Headquarters received a report from the ship, called Kazu I, that it had been flooded. About one hour later, the 19-ton ship lost contact after reporting that its bow was taking in water and tilted at around 30 degrees.
The Coast Guard has sent five patrol vessels and two planes to the site in the Sea of Okhotsk for search and rescue operations.
The Air Self-Defense Force has also dispatched a search and rescue plane, at the request of the regional coast guard headquarters.
According to the headquarters, 22 adult passengers and two children, as well as two crew members, were on the ship. All of them were wearing life jackets.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]