Vessel for Deep-Sea Diving Leaves for Search Site off Hokkaido

Society

Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Pref., May 10 (Jiji Press)--A vessel carrying special equipment to send divers into deep water left Moji Port in the city of Kitakyushu, southwestern Japan, to join a search for 12 people still missing after the Kazu I tour boat sank off the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido last month.

The unpowered Kaishin multipurpose work vessel, operated by Nippon Salvage Co., is 2,973 gross tons and 70 meters long. It is being towed by the Hayashio Maru rescue ship.

Carrying equipment for saturation diving including compression and decompression chambers, the vessel is expected arrive at a port in the city of Abashiri, near the search site off the coast of the Shiretoko Peninsula, a week later.

Under Nippon Salvage's contract with the Japan Coast Guard, four divers will check inside the Kazu I, located on the 120-meter-deep seafloor, as well as the boat's body in preparation for salvaging. Before the work, they will enter a compression chamber to adapt their bodies to high water pressure.

The 1st Regional Coast Guard Headquarters and others continued their search on Tuesday but failed to find any of the people still unaccounted for.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press