Update / videoThe 10 people on board died after a cruise ship sank in Japan on Saturday. This was reported by the Coast Guard. The search is still underway for 16 other people who were on the plane.
The boat carrying tourists sank Saturday afternoon after getting into trouble off the coast of the Shiretoko Nature Reserve, located on a peninsula off the northern island of Hokkaido. Of the ten rescued crew members, seven men and three women, some were pulled out of the icy sea water and others were found on the rocky shore. A coast guard spokesman told AFP that eight of them were “unconscious”. He didn’t say anything about the health of the other two people. The ten were taken to hospitals. The Japanese authorities do not speak of death unless the death is officially confirmed by a doctor. There is no trace of the other sixteen people on board, besides the tour boat itself.
Nothing is known about the nationality of the tourist. The Tokyo Ministry of Transportation said it is in the process of forming a task force for the boat play. A government official said Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has instructed his government to “do everything to save lives.”
There were 24 passengers on board Kazu I, including two children, as well as the captain (54) and one of the crew members (27). Rescuers searched for survivors from the air and by boat throughout the night. Seven coast guard ships and five aircraft were involved in search and rescue operations. Police helicopters and local fishing boats helped them.
The tourist boat left the port at 10 AM on Saturday. All passengers, as well as the captain and crew members, were wearing life jackets at that time. At about 1 pm, the captain reported that the boat was in danger of sinking. The boat was then off Kashoni Falls, a scenic spot popular with tourists near the tip of the peninsula.
According to the authorities in the nearby town of Shari, waves were high in this part of the Sea of Okhotsk. Because of the sea waves, many fishing boats returned to port early Saturday. And the meteorologist warned of the approach of the low pressure area with increased winds.
According to Japanese public broadcaster NHK He told the crew that the bow of their boat was clearing water and that the hull was tilted about 30 degrees as a result and was sinking. After that, contact with the crew members was lost. The search helicopters did not reach the area until four hours after the emergency call.
According to the Abashiri Coast Guard regional station, the Kazu I ran aground in shallow waters after leaving port in June last year. No one was injured in that accident.
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The boat was sailing in front of Kashuni Falls, a popular scenic spot near the tip of the peninsula, according to one of Japan’s leading newspapers, the Mainichi Shimbun, when the Coast Guard received the distress call. According to the operator’s website, the boat can accommodate up to 65 people.
Shiretoko National Park is located on the peninsula in northeastern Hokkaido, at the northernmost point of Japan’s four main islands, and is famous for being a popular destination for spotting drifting ice. It was designated a World Heritage Site in 2005 and is home to many rare animal and plant species.
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