No Survivors Found After Tour Boat Sinks in Japan

Ten pulled from water have died, and 16 others are missing
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 23, 2022 8:32 AM CDT
Updated Apr 24, 2022 9:40 AM CDT
Tour Boat With 26 Aboard Missing in Japan
This photo shows Shiretoko Peninsula in the northern island of Hokkaido.   (Kyodo News via AP)

Update: The news is grim on the search for survivors after a Japanese tour boat sank. Ten people who were retrieved Sunday from the frigid sea and the rocky coast of a northern Japanese national park had died per the AP. The search for the other 16 people missing continues, as does the investigation into what happened. Our original story from Saturday follows:

A tour boat with 26 people aboard was missing in rough and cold waters off northern Japan on Saturday after it issued a distress call and reported it was sinking. No survivors have been found after more than seven hours of an intense search, per the AP. The 19-ton Kazu 1 made an emergency call in early afternoon, saying the ship’s bow had flooded and was beginning to sink and tilt while it was traveling off the western coast of Shiretoko Peninsula near the northern island of Hokkaido, the coast guard said. The tour boat has since lost contact, according to the coast guard. It said the boat was carrying 24 passengers, including two children, and two crew.

Average April sea temperatures in Shiretoko National Park are just above freezing. An official of the vessel's operator, Shiretoko Pleasure Cruise, said he could not comment as he had to respond to calls from worried families of the passengers. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who was attending a two-day water summit in Kumamoto in southern Japan, was canceling his program for Sunday and was set to return to Tokyo to deal with the missing boat, the NHK public broadcaster reported. High waves and strong winds were observed in the area around noon, according to a local fisheries cooperative. Japanese media reports said fishing boats had returned to port before noon because of the bad weather.

(Read more Japan stories.)

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