Japan’s coast guard confirmed the deaths of 10 people who were found by rescuers on Sunday after a tourist boat disappeared in the icy waters of the country’s northernmost island.
Teams search for people who were on boat that had problems in Japan
Authorities were continuing to search with patrol boats, aircraft and helicopters for the other 16 people aboard the “Kazu I” when the vessel ran into trouble on Saturday near the Shiretoko peninsula on the island of Hokkaido.
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Map shows where the Shiretoko Peninsula is located on the island of Hokkaido, Japan — Photo: g1
Nine of the 10 that were found were in the water or on nearby rocks, the coast guard said. There were 24 passengers, including two children, and two crew on board. The children are still missing.
Floating ice could be seen in the sea around the area until March, and the water temperature would be around 2 to 3 degrees Celsius at this time of year, an official at a local fishing cooperative told Reuters. “You start to lose consciousness just a few minutes after getting into that kind of water,” he said.
Aerial image of a stretch of the Shiretoko Peninsula, Japan — Photo: AP
On Saturday afternoon the crew informed the coast guard that water was flooding the boat. The last contact came about an hour later, when the boat warned its operating company to say it was falling at a 30-degree angle, Kyodo News reported.
The coast guard said it was unclear what happened to the boat. At the company that operated the Kazu, no one was available for comment. High waves and strong winds were observed around noon on Saturday (local time) in the region, Kyodo said.