Unmanned Vehicle Deployed in Search for Missing from Boat


Shari, Hokkaido, May 8 (Jiji Press)--An unmanned underwater vehicle was deployed Sunday in a search for 12 people still missing after the Kazu I tour boat sank off the coast of the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido about two weeks ago.

Using an advanced underwater camera, the vehicle from the private salvage ship Shinnichi Maru searched the inside and outside of the Kazu I, which currently sits at a depth of about 120 meters off the coast of the Shiretoko Peninsula. The Shinnichi Maru arrived at the scene Saturday.

Rescuers from the Japan Coast Guard and others have expanded their search area to include waters near Kunashiri, an island controlled by Russia and claimed by Japan.

An underwater camera from Hokkaido police has taken photos of the inside of the Kazu I, but no clues to the missing people have been found.

Coast guard divers can reach a depth of up to some 60 meters. The Shinnichi Maru will deploy a special technique that allows divers to work at greater depth, starting as early as mid-May.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press