Missing Sightseeing Boat Found on Seabed off Hokkaido


Shari, Hokkaido, April 29 (Jiji Press)--A minesweeper of Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force on Friday found an object on the seabed off Shiretoko Peninsula in Hokkaido, northernmost Japan, which was later confirmed to be the missing "Kazu I" sightseeing tour boat.

The First Regional Coast Guard Headquarters in the Hokkaido city of Otaru judged that the object was the missing boat as a video taken by an underwater camera showed the name "Kazu I" on the boat's body.

The 19-ton boat disappeared off the peninsula on Saturday. Of the 26 people onboard, 14 people, including a 3-year-old girl, have so far been confirmed dead.

The Japan Coast Guard will salvage the sunken boat to investigate the cause of the accident, while continuing the search of the 12 missing people.

According to the JCG and other sources, the boat was found in a sea area near Kashuni Waterfall in the Hokkaido town of Shari, on the seabed at a depth of about 100 meters. The boat had reported to be near the waterfall at the time of the accident. The MSDF minesweeper searched a location where a sonar detected an object and its camera caught the sunken boat.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press