Father of Missing Man Saddened over Hokkaido Boat Accident

Society

Shari, Hokkaido, April 25 (Jiji Press)--The father of a male passenger on a sightseeing boat that went missing off the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido expressed on Monday sorrow and anger over the incident as he visited the port where the ship departed and awaited news of his son's fate.

The man's son, in his 20s, and his girlfriend were on the Kazu I, which lost contact Saturday after its departure the same day. They were visiting the Shiretoko area in the eastern part of Hokkaido from the city of Kitami, also in the prefecture, to celebrate the girlfriend's birthday. The man and the girlfriend remain unaccounted for after the ship incident.

Before boarding the boat at Utoro port in the town of Shari, located in the Shiretoko Peninsula, the son sent to his father's mobile phone a video of roughly 10 seconds saying that he and his girlfriend were about to go on a cruise. They have not been in contact since then.

After the accident, the father heard from another person that his son had been planning on proposing to his girlfriend aboard the ship. The boat was carrying 24 passengers, including two children, and two crew members. "It's truly inexcusable," the father said of the tragedy on what was supposed to be a day of celebration, as he broke into tears.

The man rushed to Shiretoko from the Hokkaido city of Obihiro on Saturday, upon learning of the news on the accident. "All I feel is a sense of distrust," the father said of Shiretoko Yuransen, the operator of the tour boat.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press